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We have located Chibok girls, Okupe insists

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The federal government is aware of the location of the girls abducted by Boko Haram in Chibok last month, and they will soon be reunited with their families, senior special assistant to the president on public affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe has said. Defending the government's response to the kidnap, Okupe revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan had already deployed more than 20,000 soldiers to Borno even before news of the abduction went viral. This, he argued, is contrary to speculations that the president has done very little to rescue them, evidenced by the various protests across the nation and beyond. “We have located the girls and they will be safely returned to their parents. That President Jonathan did not make a show of his activities when the issue of Chibok girls broke out did not mean he was not doing anything,” Okupe told CNN during an interview. “More than 20,000 soldiers have been deployed to strengthen the fight against Boko Haram. Two weeks ago further deployment was also made.” He expressed delight that neighbouring countries have — for the first time — agreed to partner Nigeria in ridding its borders of terrorism. “Recently the effect of the outcome of what happened in Paris is paying off. For the first time, the security agencies in neighbouring countries like Chad, Niger and Cameroon have agreed [to work with Nigeria against terrorism], and are already working with the Nigerian security agencies. This is the greatest development in this matter that we are in,” he said. On ongoing collaborations between Nigeria and other countries who have volunteered help, he explained that the Nigerian military has been providing the manpower while relying on the international community for expertise. “We don't have any serious expertise and surveillance in this insurgency,” he said. “Our partnership with the United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada and all other foreigners, [it] is for them to provide expertise for us, because these countries have had longer experiences in dealing with rescue operations and insurgency.”

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