We’ve done well in search for Chibokgirls – Nigerian Government

Mike Omeri

Six months after the kidnap of over 200 schoolgirls by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, the Nigerian government said Tuesday it has done considerably well to ensure the girls’ release, but warned it will not tolerate “subversive” tendencies of campaigners calling for increased effort.

At a briefing Tuesday, exactly 180 days since the abduction of the girls, the government subtly accused the BringBackOurGirls group of inciting the public against the government.

“The efforts at inciting the populace against the government and her agencies is, to say the least, very unfortunate. It is necessary to caution those involved that there is a clear difference between credible civil agitation and subversive preoccupations,” Mr. Omeri said.

The warning was given by the coordinator of the National Information Centre, NIC, Mike Omeri, in an address to mark the six months of the girls abduction.

The government also listed its achievements at rescuing the girls to include setting up a fact-finding committee, conducting surveillance and partnering with foreign allies including the United States and the United Kingdom.
NIC was set up by the government to brief citizens on the on-going insurgency in the northern part of the country.

The #BringBackOurGirls group on Tuesday attempted to meet President Goodluck Jonathan, but was stopped, the second time that would happen.

In an address, Mr. Omeri accused the BringBackOurGirls group of politicising the campaign for the release of the girls.

“In the current situation, the emphasis should be on the genuine concerns of the citizens as opposed to political considerations as is evident in the current agitations,” he said.

He said Nigerians must understand that “every attack on the government by unpatriotic members of the public, invariably, emboldens the resolve of the insurgents,”

The NIC spokesperson said since the kidnap of the girls nearly 180 days ago, about 2,000 persons -including military and security personnel, as well as innocent civilians and foreigners- have lost their lives to the activities of the insurgents.

He said this has really given the government worry since the security threat of further abductions and terrorism is still ever present.

Mr. Omeri said contrary to insinuations, the government is willing to provide credible information on the anti-terror campaign, arguing however, that operational reality does not permit unbridled disclosure of operational plans and strategy, including a day-by-day account of troops’ movement, engagement and deployment of hardware, as some agitators have continue to advocate.

He said the Nigerian armed forces and the security agencies have developed an extensive rescue plan and tactical operational methodology embedded within the on-going military efforts in the northeast.

“In order words, the rescue of the girls is, no doubt, an integral part of the larger government effort to safeguard the territorial integrity of the Nigeria which the armed forces must be allowed to prosecute logically, in line with well-known and established tradition,” he said.

He added that while democracy encourages peaceful and meaningful protests, he said such protesters, especially as it relates to the Chibok incident, are expected to focus on the broader and all-encompassing concerns on lives being lost daily since terrorist action broke out in the northeast.

“It should be clearly understood that government is, as much, concerned with protecting the totality of Nigerians,” he said.

Current Situation

The NIC coordinator said the armed forces and security services have made remarkable strides towards containing the activities of the terrorists.

Mr. Omeri listed efforts being made by the government to rescue the girls to include the setting up of a fact-finding committee headed by Brigadier-General Ibrahim Sabo (rtd) to ascertain and clarify the circumstances surrounding the abduction saga.

Others, he said, include the successful dispatch of troops to carry out land and aerial surveillance and occasional bombardment of terrorists’ locations, in addition to the government’s enlistment of foreign partners to further this cause.

He added that several regional and sub-regional collaborative engagements by many countries with the effective support of the U.K., U.S., France and other nations have resulted in strategic alliances to counter insurgency in the sub-region.

In what appears like a positive endorsement of the #BBOG, Mr. Omeri said their activities has brought the issue to the international arena.

“Celebrities and international personages have also been enlisted in the struggle against terrorism and the issue of abduction in the country,” he said.

He added that Mr. Jonathan has also effectively presented the situation at the immediate past United Nations General Assembly and other international development fora.

“Only yesterday, the committee of foreign ministers of neighbouring West African countries met in Nigeria with a view to establishing an effective legal framework for military operations against terrorism.

“Evidently, there is increasing collaboration and cooperation among the countries of the sub-region. Despite the promise of support by other more experienced countries such as the US, UK, France and others in the fight against terrorism, the Boko Haram menace is essentially a Nigeria problem in which the government, citizens and the armed forces are determined and committed to dealing with,” he said.


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  • Lawrence

    Mr Omeri, stop insulting our intelligence. Human beings are in the bush for 180 days and you still have the gut to score yourself high. Shame! !!!

    • Otile

      Give him credit, if the group pushes harder there may be riot. Safety comrade safety.

  • me

    But this same Omeri kept quiet when the Chibok girls were kidnapped so as not to jeopardize Mr GEJ’s election. How can he now tell the people that have been making effort since then to keep quiet? And these people will face us again to ask for votes? Mr Omeri, your utterances, body language and inaction are subversive rather than these hapless bring back chibok girls’ protest. Posterity will definitely never be kind to you. Quote me.

  • SAM BABALOLA

    Mr Mike Omeri , you are the one politicizing BBOG,Haba , how are you going to ask people not to talk about children of your fellow citizen that morally you are suppose to protect. Do you have human feeling at all ? suppose 3 of your daughters have been with these Ruffians and murderers in the busy for 180 days , you will report in the office daily and go for pepper soup every evening.
    Please let us be real Nigerians and see these children as ours, feel their pain and sorrow and stop all this inflammatory and insulting language , instead of appealing to their understanding as a leader rather than this military language in civil government.

    • krakra

      Please tell the Govt what new and fast solution you have. Could you reach the terrorists and get the Girls out? I believe we all want them out and all hands should be on deck

  • Remi

    This is why this country cannot progress with these kind of leaders who have no shame. After 180 days you are telling us you have tried. Mr try where are the results of your trying? As long as they are not your children or belong to members of your try group they can rot in the bush. Do not worry God in His infinite mercy will reward very soon your efforts.

  • the truth

    mr omeri trying to rescue the girls is a non answer. if those girls were your relatives or your kids will you give this flimsy excuse. The protesters have every right to visit the presidential villa to ask for answers. 180 days and no girls yet is really disheartening.we hope the girls are returned quickly

    • Otile

      Do you want them to commit sedition and cause riot?

      • Efe1

        That will be appitizer.

  • kwango

    Only in this government is performance measured against all indices of mediocrity, incompetence, propaganda and failure.

    • Otile

      Look at those holding important security positions, their performance is mediocrity, incompetence, propaganda and failure.

  • Concerned citizen

    This government is a disgrace. Only in Nigeria is mediocrity celebrated without shame.

    • Otile

      Well when they fill very important positions with Hausa Fulani mediocres this what you get. You reap what you sow.

      • Concerned citizen

        ‘They’ should refer to the grossly incompetent GEJ led government. After 15 yrs of mismanaged resources, only individuals who are benefitting from the status quo will want more.

      • Efe1

        The most important positiin is occupied by a mediocre ijaw man whi then appointed fellow mediocres. Just look at the nonsense being expunged by these mad men in power.

  • True Nigerian

    When a government looks at the horrendous record of the government on this matter and still opens its mouth to say they’ve done well on it, then you know the depth and height of the hopelessness you’re facing as a citizen of such a country.

    Whenever this government speaks, it adverstises an unbelieveable magnitude of lunacy in its thinking. Whenever this government or its errand boys speak, it dawns on you that Nigeria is in trouble under this government.

    With utterances like this, what other improvement are Nigerians expecting on the search for the Chibok girls?

    Senator John McCain was right – Nigeria does not have a government in Jonathan.

    Not that I am expecting a bunch of voters from a society in anomie to correct that anomaly. I am only admitting the truth.

  • Mustard7

    As per my earlier post, let us have dialogue and resolution, the whole world supports an early peaceful solution