The need to evolve the right strategy to rescue the over 200 girls abducted from Chibok, Borno State, alive is what separates the girls from freedom, Chairman, National Information Centre, Mr. Mike Omeri, has said.
In an interview with punch correspondent, Omeri emphasised that it was only when the right strategy was adopted that the girls would be rescued alive.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, had on May 25 said the security leadership had located where members of Boko Haram were holding the abducted girls of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, who were kidnapped on April 14.
Badeh also said the military would not use force to release the girls because of the need to prevent the insurgents from killing them.
The military chief said the military had the capacity to bring back the abducted girls but would not use force for the crucial assignment. He stressed that the military knew what it was doing and should be allowed to continue with its work.
Asked what had been delaying the rescue operation since the military admitted it had located where the girls were being kept, Omeri who heads the National Orientation Agency simply said, “Strategy.”
Omeri said, “These girls need to be brought home alive and it is the strategy that will make the difference.”
The NOA boss buttressed the point by drawing from two rescue operations in the Northern part of the country. While one was successful, the other resulted in the killing of Italian and English victims.
Two Europeans – a Briton and an Italian – kidnapped by Boko Haram in May 2011 were killed in Sokoto, Sokoto State in March 2012 during a rescue operation by British and Nigerian special forces.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Chibok Community in Abuja, Tsambido Abana, has called on the Federal Government to heed the advice of those that are urging it to negotiate with the Boko Haram sect for the release of the over 200 school girls that were abducted over two months ago.
Abana, stated that many individuals have access to the violent Islamic sect and could negotiate with the group for the release of the abducted girls, some of whom he said may be sexually abused by the insurgents.
The community leader in a telephone interview on Sunday, said former President Olusegun Obasanjo was right in his observation that many of the girls may not be seen again, in view of the delay in the rescue of the hostages.
He said, “Many people have access to the sect, including a serving Senator, but the government has refused to listen to advice that it should negotiate with Boko Haram for the release of the girls. Obasanjo was right that some of the girls may not be seen again because when somebody is taken away from home for over two months now, anything can happen.”
Asked if he has any useful advice for the government on how it could quickly resolve the problem, Abana said, “I don’t have any advice for them because they won’t listen to my advice; they have not listened to other people who have urged them to negotiate with Boko Haram to release the girls.”
Abana said his people are still hopeful that there would be a breakthrough in the efforts to secure the release of the girls, noting that delay is dangerous.