President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the war against Boko Haram cannot be declared won until the abducted Chibok girls have been rescued.
This statement contradicts the president’s claim in December 2016 and one that was aggressively pushed by his government on the supposed reclaiming of Sambisa Forest.
The president made the comments on Saturday, April 22, 2017 during the grand finale of the 53rd anniversary of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in Makurdi, Benue state.
He was represented by the minister of defence, Mansur Dan-Ali.
“We must realise that the NAF has played some crucial roles in the counter-insurgency efforts in the northeast. I urge the air men and officers to consolidate on their efforts and protect our national security,” he said.
“I have always said that we cannot consider the war against insurgency to be won until the remaining Chibok girls are found and delivered to their parents.
“And the government is fully committed to fulfilling this objective as soon as possible. Accordingly, the two new Russian fighter helicopters, which are being inducted into the NAF inventory today (Saturday), is to enhance the search for these girls, and the other abductees of the insurgents.
He urged the air force to use the fighter helicopters to intensify its search for the girls and other hostages of the insurgents.
“Since its establishment in 1964, the air force has lived up to the deployment of air power to defend the territorial sovereignty of the country, and we have been able to rescue most of the towns and villages, hitherto violated by the Boko Haram insurgents,” he added.
Buhari Defeats Boko Haram?
Late December 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari declared victory over the Islamist terrorist group after Nigerian troops announced that they have recaptured Camp Zero in Sambisa forest, the base of the deadliest terrorist group in the world.
The Nigerian Army later presented the president with the flag belonging to the terrorist group in a “mission accomplished” ceremony.
Since the declaration a week ahead of Christmas Day 2016, Boko Haram has launched a number of deadly attacks in the North Eastern region of the country where the terrorists have murdered at least 50,000 since they began their campaign to establish an Islamic caliphate in the country.