NSA Monguno Restates FG Commitment to Rescue Dapchi Schoolgirls ...As H.E Gov. Gaidam Reassures Parents, Community
The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd) has restated the commitment of the Federal Government to rescue the schoolgirls at Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) Dapchi who went missing when Boko Haram terrorists stormed their school a week ago.
"I want His Excellency to reassure members of the Yobe State community that as long as these girls are not brought back, the government will not relent.
"The government will continue to push harder dealing with all organisations – local and international (and) engaging with every group that comes forward to see that these girls are brought back safely to their parents.
" This is a commitment that the government has made, and I am very confident that with all the efforts I have seen put together by the security agencies so far, these girls will be rescued I want you to understand that and I also want to allay the fears of the wider community in Yobe State", the NSA said.
The NSA was accompanied by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, the Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole Major General RI Nicholas, Chief of Operations Nigerian Airforce AVM Balogun and the General Office Commanding (GOC) 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General IM Yusuf, amongst other senior military officers.
On his part, Gov. Gaidam said the State government will partner the federal government every step of the way to get the girls back safely. "To the parents of the missing school girls, I wish to emphasize that we share their sorrow.
"The Yobe State Government in partnership with the Federal Government and specifically the security agencies will spare no effort in ensuring the return of the girls back home, Insha Allah.
" I urge our religious leaders, community leaders and indeed all our citizens to intensify prayers for the good health and safe return of the missing school girls", Gaidam said.
BELOW IS FULL TRANSCRIPTS of the NSA'S speech and H.E Gov. Gaidam's speech:
NSA Gen. Monguno (Rtd)'s Speech:
The purpose of this visit is to show solidarity not just to Your Excellency and members of the Yobe State Government but indeed by extension to all the good people of Yobe State and to let you know that we identify with the current situation in which the good people of Yobe State find themselves in.
I have a personal message of goodwill from President Muhammadu Buhari to you. Even though other members of the (federal) government have come to commiserate and identify with you, my own visit is not too different from theirs but as his principal adviser on security issues, I felt it’s necessary to come along with members of the security community, especially those currently engaged in the search for the over 100 missing girls of Government Girls Science Technical College Dapchi.
Your Excellency I know a lot has been said locally in the media and the international community. A lot of analysis has been made; lots of suggestions have been made but what I want to reassure you is the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari in getting all these girls back. This is primary responsibility that rests not just on his shoulder but on mine as well as all my colleagues who are here and those who are operating elsewhere.
So far, within the last few days, activities have been stepped up. I had a special meeting with the president to discuss this situation and I have activated certain machineries in my office. In-theatre here, the theatre command has already started working hard on the search 24 hours non-stop. The Nigerian airforce has deployed 20 aircraft in Maiduguri and 80 others on their way. So far 200 hours have been utilized in flying sorties looking for these girls.
We have also been made aware of the fact that the Nigerian airforce will step up its operation regardless of the very hard and severe weather condition. The Nigeria police force has also done a lot in supporting these operations as well as the civil defence corps.
Your Excellency, this so far is the beginning of the operations in the theatre. I am directly involved with all the security agencies. From here I will be moving further up towards the Lake Chad region and we are going to visit border areas, Nigeria’s border areas with some neighbouring countries. I have already been speaking with other groups also, local people who have great understanding of the terrain and the conditions among the local people.
Back in Abuja, we have set up our own machinery in dealing with this situation. All the security agencies have been working together. The situation room has been expanded – the one in the office of the National Security Adviser that is linked directly to all other security agencies but most importantly to the theatre command over here.
For now, I have made efforts with my counterparts across the region to try and work and share intelligence together and see how quickly we can bring to an end this very unfortunate situation. But apart from that we are also looking at other measures in dealing with past occurrences and how to forestall any future occurrence.
I want His Excellency to reassure member of the Yobe State community that as long as these girls are not brought back, the government will not relent. The government will continue to push harder dealing with all organisations – local and international (and) engaging with every group that comes forward to see that these girls are brought back safely to their parents.
This is a commitment that the government has made, and I am very confident that with all the efforts I have seen put together by the security agencies so far, these girls will be rescued I want you to understand that and I also want to allay the fears of the wider community in Yobe State. This is something that affects not just Yobe State but the larger Nigerian society. At this point I would like to end my brief speech on the purpose of this visit. Thank you sir.
H.E Gov. Gaidam's Speech:
Ladies and Gentlemen
I find much pleasure to, on behalf of the Government and good people of Yobe State, welcome, the National Security Adviser, Major General Muhammed Babagana Monguno (Rtd.), Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique B. Abubakar as well as other members of their entourage to the Government House on a courtesy call today.
2. This visit, I am optimistic will afford us the opportunity to discuss very important issues geared towards achieving national peace and security objectives.
This is particularly informed by the fact that the visit is in keeping with the marching orders of President Muhammadu Buhari assigning to this high-level delegation the task of monitoring the situation following the unfortunate incidence which occurred on Monday, 19th February, 2018 at Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi resulting in some school girls missing due to the attack by the Boko Haram terrorists on the school and Dapchi town.
This is significant because it is a testimony to Mr. President’s commitment to the fight against insurgency, concern for the welfare, protection of lives and properties of all Nigerians. This being the third visit by high level delegations from the Federal Government since the Dapchi incidence, has energized us and will continue to be a motivating factor that strategies are continually being put in place to ensure that the missing school girls are returned to their parents in good health. As responsible leaders, we will not rest unless all the girls are found.
3. May I therefore take this opportunity to commend the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari once again, GCFR for his resolute commitment to the fight against insurgency. I also commend the efforts of the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces as well as that of the other security agencies involved in the fight against insurgency which to date has recorded unprecedented success to the admiration of all.
We in Yobe State will continue to recognize and appreciate their value which has contributed in bringing peace following the years of security challenges being experienced in the State in addition to the great role they played in National peace and security operations in Nigeria and indeed other countries in the world for the achievement of global peace and security.
4. On the subject of the visit by the National Security Adviser and the Chief of Air Staff, I wish to inform them that on the very day that the sad incident occurred, that is Monday 19th February, 906 students were found and ascertained to be physically present in the school.
However, after thorough investigation by the school and report by the parents, it was revealed that 110 students were missing.
5. I wish to stress that it was unfortunate that prior to the attack, the Army units stationed in Dapchi and Bayamari towns were removed. We are therefore of the opinion that there is no reason whatsoever to take that untimely action since Dapchi is the Headquarters of one of the front line Local Governments and Bayamari too is one of the major settlements close to the neighbouring Republic of Niger associated with porous terrain that should be protected.
More so, a girls’ boarding school with a student’s enrolment of about 1000 is also situated at Dapchi. In keeping with the recent decimation of the Boko Haram terrorists in Sambisa forest, early warning signals were issued for imminent attack on some soft targets and therefore that should continue to guide our security operatives in mapping out strategies of combating the marauding insurgents. Compliance with that observation should continue to guide the security operatives and indeed all our citizens as a step forward in further achieving the desired objectives of eliminating and ending the activities of the insurgents.
We, however, appreciate that immediately after our meeting with the Federal Government delegation led by the Minister of Information and Culture and Minister of Interior on Sunday, 25th February 2018, the delegation gave orders to the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to provide security to all the schools in the State. This is a step in the right direction in order to assure parents that their children are safe to stay and study in the schools in the State.
6. May I at this point take the opportunity to reiterate our commendation to the re-positioned Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, other security operatives for their gallantry as well as to President Muhammadu Buhari for his political will and commitment in the fight against insurgency and other forms of crimes in the Northeast and Nigeria in general. The Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force and sister security agencies should continue to strengthen synergy and effective collaboration including exchange of information for effective surveillance, particularly aerial surveillance by the Nigerian Air Force. This will enable the officers and men of the Nigerian Army; the Nigerian Air Force and other security operatives cover all the Local Government Areas particularly the vulnerable areas in Yobe State.
In this respect, I commend the efforts of the Chief of Air Staff for directing deployment of additional Air Assets and Personnel aimed at facilitating searches and aerial surveillance of our territories. I also appeal to the Federal Government to come up with comprehensive strategy of mopping up remnants of the insurgents in all their hideouts within and outside the State.
7. Yobe is one of the frontline States in the fight against insurgency. There is no doubt that we have recorded tremendous improvement in the security situation in the State. Despite this, there is still no room for complacency. It is in the light of this that we strongly call on the Federal Government to recruit and deploy more personnel to the theatre to avoid turning the clock back. Inadequate personnel at this point should not reverse the gains made and the process of total defeat of the insurgents.
8. Before I conclude, I urge our citizens to be extra vigilant and continue to give useful information on the movement of suspicious individuals and groups to the law enforcement agencies for their necessary action. On our part, we shall as part of our obligation, continue to give the security agencies in the State every support, cooperation and assistance to achieve the desired objective of crime free state and completely bringing to an end the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in our State, the North-East and indeed our great country, Nigeria.
9. To the parents of the missing school girls, I wish to emphasize that, we share their sorrow. The Yobe State Government in partnership with the Federal Government and specifically the security agencies will spare no effort in ensuring the return of the girls back home, Insha Allah. I urge our religious leaders, community leaders and indeed all our citizens to intensify prayers for the good health and safe return of the missing school girls.
10. Once again, I thank President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for sending this high-level delegation made up of the National Security Adviser and the Chief of Air Staff on a fact-finding mission and strengthening security strategies. I wish our august guests successful and happy stay in Yobe and in the end safe journey to their next destination.
Thank you. May the Allah bless us all. Amin.