Nigeria: ‘Good news’ soon on kidnapped girls

2014-07-09 09:14

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Abuja – Nigeria’s National Council of State is promising to deliver “some good news” very soon about more than 200 schoolgirls held captive by extremists for nearly three months.

The council, made up of past presidents, state governors and leaders of parliament, is “satisfied the security agents know very well where the girls are located”, Governor Godswill Akpabio told reporters yesterday.

The rescue of the girls was top of the agenda at the meeting yesterday, he said, and “military authorities also confirmed that efforts were being made and that very soon we will have good news”.

The governor said the question is not whether the girls can be rescued, but how to do it without endangering their lives.

He said the council, which was addressed by President Goodluck Jonathan and his national security advisers, was left confident that the president and the military are “on top of the situation”.

Tuesday’s council commended Nigeria’s military and security agents, who have been roundly criticised at home and abroad for their failure to swiftly rescue the girls and to curb an escalating uprising by Boko Haram that has killed thousands. About 276 schoolgirls were abducted on April 15 from a school in northeast town of Chibok. Dozens escaped and 219 still are missing.

Last week, the defence ministry reported the detention of a businessman heading a “terrorists’ intelligence cell” who it said “participated actively” in the Chibok abductions.

Negotiations to free the girls without a fight appear to have stalled, with Boko Haram demanding the release of detained extremists in exchange for the girls. Jonathan has rejected those demands.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has threatened in a video to sell the girls into slavery and as child brides if his demands are not met.

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