Buhari meets campaigners for girls abducted by Boko Haram

2015-07-09 07:50
Nigerian President Muhammadi Buhari (AP)

Nigerian President Muhammadi Buhari (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Abuja - Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday held his first meeting with campaigners calling for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram militants in the northeastern town of Chibok last year.

The militant Islamist group, whose six-year insurgency has seen thousands killed in Africa's most populous nation and top oil producer, caused an international outcry when it took the girls from secondary school dormitories in April 2014.

Buhari praised members of the Bring Back Our Girls group for their efforts to prevent the missing children being forgotten.

"Nobody in Nigeria or outside could have missed your consistency and persistence," said Buhari during the meeting at his presidential villa in the capital, Abuja.

"I think you will agree that the present government takes the issue very seriously," he said, adding that the military was working with neighbouring countries to ensure a regional task force could fight the insurgency.

Strongest statement

Earlier this year an Amnesty International report said that Boko Haram had kidnapped at least 2 000 Nigerian women and girls since the start of 2014, many of whom were sexually abused or trained to fight.

In a statement, the Bring Back Our Girls campaigners said the safe return of the schoolgirls would "amount to the strongest statement that our government has respect for the sanctity and dignity of every Nigerian life".

The frequency of attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants in northern states has increased since the president vowed in his inauguration speech of May 29 that the group would be crushed.

More than 200 people died in a string of attacks last week and dozens more have been killed in northern Nigeria and Chad in the last few days.

Boko Haram, which has been trying to establish a state adhering to strict sharia law in northeast Nigeria, controlled an area larger than Belgium at the end of 2014.

Nigerian and regional forces pushed the jihadists out of most of that territory in the last few months but the militants have a last stronghold in the Sambisa forest reserve and, with the increase in attacks, appear to be growing in strength.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  muhammed buhari  |  nigeria  |  nigeria kidnappings  |  abductions  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.