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Kidnapped School Girls: Jonathan sets up fact-finding committee

By The Rainbow
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President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday set up a fact-finding committee to unravel the inconsistent and contradictory information on the abducted school girls in Chibok, Borno.

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, made the disclosure after a high-level security meeting, presided over by the President at the State House, Abuja.

The meeting was summoned by the President to review the security situation in the country, particularly the second bomb blast in Nyanya, Abuja and the kidnapped Chibok girls.

The meeting was attended by Vice President Namadi Sambo, Minister of Defence, Retired Gen. Aliyu Gusau, service chiefs and heads of security agencies, some ministers and presidential aides.

Maku said the meeting received updates on the second Nyanya bombing and the ongoing search for the abducted girls of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno, on 15 April.

Maku said the fact-finding committee, which terms of reference would be made public, would comprise security agencies, civil society organisations, international organisations and other stakeholders.

The minister added that the committee would, among others, determine the actual number of the kidnapped girls, noting that the figures and the circumstance of the kidnapping had been inconsistent.

'The President commiserates with the families of the deceased in the latest bombing at Nyanya, and empathises with all those injured in the incident.'

He said the President had also directed full medical treatment for victims at government expense.

'The President also shares in the pain and anguish of the parents and guardians of the Chibok girls abducted by the terrorists.

'The President's heart goes out to these our unfortunate daughters who have had to endure the trauma of abduction and separation from their loved ones.

'The government and people of Nigeria stand solidly by them. The President further appeals to the parents, guardians, relations and the public to furnish security agencies with information that will assist in the rescue of the girls.

'Government also appreciates the public outpouring of support and sentiments expressed so far by all Nigerians, including civil society groups who have come out to condemn the abduction of the girls and terrorism in the country.

Labaran said Jonathan had also directed that security agencies to intensify efforts to rescue the Chibok girls and assured Nigerians that: 'Wherever the girls are in the world, we will get them back, apprehend and punish the culprits.'

On efforts by security agencies to rescue the girls, Maku said there were extensive and intensive aerial surveillance by the Air Force in all the routes leading into and out of Chibok up to the Chad and Cameroun borders.

'The police, backed up by the military and the DSS, have combed and are still combing all reported places that the girls might have been taken to,' he said.

On the second bomb explosion in Nyanya, the minister said that the President had directed security chiefs to increase surveillance and expedite investigation into the explosions.

'The President also gave instructions for additional proactive measures by security agencies to enhance public safety.

'These will include increased public awareness for citizens to step up their cooperation with security agencies by reporting suspected activities and persons likely to cause a breach of public peace, safety and security.'