"Chibok girls are alive and will be recovered" - President Jonathan

Almost one year after over 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, and possibly encouraged by the inroads the Nigerian military has made in recovering some territories from Boko Haram, President Goodluck Jonathan has again promised that his government is not relenting in its efforts to rescue them and reunite them with their families.

The president, who spoke when he appeared on the African Independent Television (AIT) programme Kaakaki, expressed optimism that as the military continues to narrow the area of territory held by Boko Haram in the North-east, the kidnapped girls were still alive and would be recovered.

He premised his confidence on the fact that the girls were still alive, stating that had they been killed by the terror group, their corpses would have been displayed for the whole world to see and to instill fear.
“Some territories are still in the hands of Boko Haram. But we promised that we must get the girls. The good story is that they have not killed them because the terrorists, when they kill, they display.

“They use it to intimidate the whole society. The girls are alive. We will get the girls. Luckily, we are narrowing down the area of their control. So we will get them,” he said.
Jonathan, in the hour-long programme, also admitted that his government underestimated the Islamist sect, but with the increased capacity of the military, which had taken possession of more than 65 per cent of the military hardware required to rout the group, he stated that the remaining territories still under the control of the terrorists would soon be recaptured.
“At the beginning, probably we did not really estimate the capacity of Boko Haram. It is obvious. Boko Haram started as a non-violent group led by (Mohammed) Yusuf, limited to around Maiduguri area and parts of Yobe. They had not even spread to Adamawa.

“Just like every group of youths or young people who are criminally inclined, over the period they expanded their network and linked up with other terrorist organisations like Al-Qaeda and other similar brands in the world.

“So they continued to build their capacity and it got to a point that for you to tackle them in the kind of environment they operate, you need some specialised equipment and we don’t manufacture these equipment. That is why the strategy changed. So it was not deliberate,” he said.
Credit: ThisDay