Abuja – Amidst accolades and criticisms trailing the drama that played out in the abduction and freedom of 105 Dapchi school girls recently, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, said the Nigerian government was not averse to offering amnesty to any terrorists, ready to lay down arms against the country.
No fewer than 105 out of 111 girls were freed on Wednesday by the terrorists group, Boko Haram, unconditionally after spending over 30 days in the den of their captors.
President Muhammadu Buhari received the 105 girls, including two additional young primary school pupils namely; Hafsat Haruna, eleven years old and a primary six pupil and Mala Maina Bukar, thirteen (13) years old also, a primary six pupil at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he acknowledged that Nigerians have indeed gone through hell as a result of the destructive tendencies of the terrorists.
While welcoming the girls, who simultaneously recited the National Anthem, Buhari warned of the grave implications to security chiefs, should such abduction occur again.
He also noted that gladiators who were cashing in on the ugly situation to make brisk business and enrich their political nest would not be spared should they be found culpable.
“While further efforts are being made to secure the release of every abducted citizen in Nigeria, Government is ever ready to accept the unconditional laying down of arms by any member of the Boko Haram group, who show strong commitment in that regard. We are ready to rehabilitate and integrate such repentant members into the larger society.
“This country has suffered enough of hostility. Government is, therefore, appealing to all to embrace peace for the overall development of our people and the country.
“Let me reemphasize our Administration’s commitment to the fight against terrorism and insurgency, and also call on all Nigerians, to join in this task.
“The security services have since been directed to put in place further measures around all schools vulnerable to attacks to ensure the safety of our pupils/students and teachers and school workers.
“I have tasked all the security agencies to work to ensure that we do not witness any recurrence of these incidents. Security Chiefs have been warned in clear terms that any lapse on their parts will be viewed seriously.
“To the rescued students, we want to reassure you as our daughters, that you will freely live and pursue your dreams in Nigeria of peace and order, without fear of violence or molestation,” Buhari told the girls.
Although the President had given assurance of finding the remaining abductee, Leah Sharibu, he used the reception for the Dapchi girls to assure that talks were equally on to free the remaining Chibok girls.
“While parents of the Dapchi girls rejoice because of the reunion with their children, I want to appeal to the Chibok Community never to lose hope or to despair. We are determined as never before, to bring back our remaining Chibok daughters. And this, we must accomplish. And that will be soon by God’s grace.
Commenting on the political implications of the abductions, he said, the full weight of the law would be meted on persons found to be aiding and abetting these crimes.
“May I also warn against those elements who have chosen to make political fortune of our citizens’ misfortune.
“Government would not tolerate any attempt by any person or group to trivialize or politicize security issues for politically motivated ends. Accordingly, security agencies would not hesitate to decisively deal with such unscrupulous characters”.
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