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Tuesday, 27 February 2018

How DSS negotiated release of UNIMAID lecturers with Boko Haram - Buhari

Nigeria - President Muhammadu Buhari has explained why it took seven months for the three lecturers of the University of Maiduguri and eight months for the 10 women abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in the North East to regain their freedom.
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The president who described the road to securing their release as painstaking  and protracted, disclosed that the delay was because the abductors were not only different but based in different locations.

Buhari made the disclosure at the Presidential Villa, Abuja when he received three lecturers, one policewoman and nine other women rescued from the insurgents.
Corroborating the president, the Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS),  Lawal Daura explained that the path of negotiation was considered the safest so as not to endanger the lives of the abductees.
According to Daura, “Mr. President, the search of negotiations for the rescue of the victims commenced in earnest following your directives to the effect that all abducted persons must be found and rescued alive. However, we choose the path of negotiation because it was considered as the safest because any forceful attempt to rescue the victims could endanger their lives. 
These negotiations took several months and the Department of State Services with support of the external elements of the group in diaspora and support from friendly countries and liaising with International Community of the Red Cross, made the rescue possible.
“The process was slow due to the problem of dealing with two different groups based in different locations at the same time. In addition, the negotiations took place mostly outside the country, though subsequently finalised in the theater of operations.
“The negotiations were mainly centred on an attempt at conflict mitigation which include the fate of arrested members of the insurgent groups…”
Meanwhile, President Buhari has promised that his administration would ensure the safe return of all those abducted by the Boko Haram sect, including the 110 students of the Government Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State.
“Let me clearly reiterate the resolve of this administration to ensure all persons abducted by the insurgents are rescued or released safely. This is especially against the backdrop against the recent incident where another group of girls were abducted on the 19th from of Government Science and Technical Girls College, Dapchi, Yobe State.
“I have since directed all security agencies to immediately ensure that every effort is directed to ensure that safety of our schools and students as well as bringing back the abducted girls to their families.
“Government remains unrelenting towards rescuing all those abducted. Government will also work closely with all stakeholders, especially the United Nations and other donor agencies, voluntary organisations towards rehabilitating and resettling all those displaced as a result of all these conflicts, to quicken resumption of meaningful social economic activities.
“I remain very mindful of the pains and injury collectively meted out by the insurgents and we will ensure that government does not leave any stone unturned to degrade and contain these insurgents and ensure that complete peace returns to our land.
“Once again, I’m pleased to see that all of you are now free and will soon join your loved ones as well as be fully integrated back into the society.
“Nigerians sympathise with you on your ordeal and wish you welcome back to your families and friends.”
President Buhari also directed the Director General of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to issue discharge certificate to Miss Jummai Ibrahim, who was abducted during her service year. She would have passed out at the end of the last batch in 2017.
Other female abductees are Esther Kwasina, Amina Gomdiya, Gloria Bulus, Paulina Amos and Tani Audu, a final year student at the University of Maiduguri.
Dr. Solomon Nicholas Yusuf , a doctor of Geophysics, who spoke on behalf of the freed abductees, said they would not want to return to their base because of the experience.
Dapchi school shut after Boko Haram attack
Notwithstanding Buhari’s assurances, the Yobe State Government announced yesterday that the school would remain closed.
“The government girls school in Dapchi has not reopened. It’s not feasible to reopen the school in the current situation,” said Mohammed Lamin, the education commissioner said.
“We still have over 100 girls that are unaccounted for. The other girls that were found are not in the right frame of mind to return to school. They are still in trauma,” he said.
Initially, it was claimed that all the Dapchi students and teachers fled. The authorities shut the school for a week pending a head-count of returning students.
But as dozens of girls failed to reappear, parents began to fear the worst. The Federal Government on Sunday said 110 of the 906 students were “unaccounted for.”

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