“On behalf of the female ministers we condemn the incident. We are not happy about what has happened.”
The federal government on Wednesday formally announced that it is “ready to go to any length to secure” the release of the female students kidnapped from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.
The government’s stance was made known by the Information Minister, Labaran Maku, after the weekly meeting of the Executive Council of the Federation, FEC, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.
“We are ready to go to any length to secure the release of these our unfortunate daughters that have been in captivity,” Mr. Maku said. “Everything is being done in relation to every operational measures that will be taken particularly by the Nigerian Armed Forces in collaboration with foreign assistance that have been offered by different nations of the world”.
Mr. Maku, however, avoided the direct question on whether or not the government was negotiating or willing to negotiate with the Boko Haram for the rescue of the girls. Different high ranking government officials have stated varying positions on government’s willingness or otherwise to negotiate with the terrorist group.
The Boko Haram had in a video released on Monday shown some of the kidnapped school girls. The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said he would only release the girls if the government releases his member’s in detention.
Hundreds of Boko Haram members are in detention for terrorism-related activities with some already being prosecuted and others convicted.
Apart from Mr. Maku, the Women Affairs Minister, Zainab Maina, also briefed journalists after the meeting.
Mrs. Maina said female ministers expressed their sadness with the April 14 kidnap of the girls.
“On behalf of the female ministers we condemn the incident. We are not happy about what has happened,” she said.
She said the female ministers thanked the Nigerian women for their patience in the face of the situation.
The minister also thanked the international community for standing by Nigeria in its efforts to free the girls and quell the Boko Haram insurgency.
Nigeria is being assisted by several foreign countries including the U.S., U.K., and China in the search for the girls.