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Video: U.S. to back 110 Dapchi girls’ rescue

Dapchi

The United States yesterday promised to support the battle to rescue the 110 schoolgirls abducted by a faction of Boko Haram in Dapchi, Yobe State.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who visited Nigeria as part of his week-long tour of Africa, stated this during a joint news conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs Geofrey Onyeama at the Presidential Vila.

He met with President Buhari and had another session with Onyeama.

Explaining the form of support they would give, Tillerson said: “First, we respect the responsibilities of the government of Nigeria and the territorial integrity of Nigeria. But the way we support is in providing them capacity with equipment and also training of the personnel of special operations and sharing intelligence to ensure that they have all the information available to carry out the recovery effort.

“But I think it is also important to put this in a broad regional context as well, Boko Haram is a threat to other region and this has been the subject of my meetings elsewhere and in Africa as well.

“In my discussion with President Derby in Chad earlier today (yesterday), we spoke about the threat of Boko Haram, it’s really been powerful, the collaboration between the joint task force which Nigeria is a part and Chad is a part, to respond to this threat of terrorism. Boko Haram is one of the threats that the leadership of this country has to deal with.

“So the United States is ready to engage and coordinate efforts as well. We hope that something can be worked out and they can secure the release of these girls quickly.” During their meeting, President Buhari said Nigeria was being careful hence the government decided to choose negotiation rather than military option.

The President said Nigeria preferred to have the schoolgirls abducted from Chibok and Dapchi back alive.

A statement by Special Adviser on Media and publicity, Femi Adesina, quoted the President as saying that Nigeria was working in concert with international organizations and negotiators, to ensure that the girls were released unharmed by their captors.

“We are trying to be careful. It is better to get our daughters back alive,” the President said.

He thanked the U.S. for the assistance rendered in the fight against insurgency, noting that Nigerian forces are good, “but need assistance in the areas of training and equipment.”

The President promised that his administration would continue to do its best to secure the country, adding that he would be in Yobe State, from where Dapchi schoolgirls were abducted, later this week “as part of my condolence and sympathy visits to areas where we have had unfortunate events.”

He pledged free and fair polls in 2019 and recalled that the then American Secretary of State, John Kerry visited the country before the 2015 polls, “and he told the party in government then, and those of us in opposition, to behave ourselves, and we did.”

Tilerson commended President Buhari on his strides in the anti-corruption war, to which the Nigerian leader responded that moneys recovered were being invested on development of infrastructure.

Mr Tillerson said Nigeria was a very important country to the U.S. “You have our support in your challenges. We will also support opportunities to expand the economy, commercial investments, and peaceful polls in 2019

 

Speaking further at the news conference, Tillerson said he warned African countries against Chinese loans not because he was seeking to stop Chinese investments from flowing to countries that need those investments,  “but what we are cautioning countries about is to look carefully, that the implications of the level of debts, the terms of the debts, and whether the arrangements around the local financing are in fact creating jobs, local capacity or the projects being carried out by foreign labour being brought to your country, is the structure of the financing such that you will always be in control of your infrastructure?

“Are there mechanism to deal with the faults so that you do not lose ownership of your own assets? These are national assets whether there are ports, railways, or major highways.

“We have seen this occurred in other countries that were not so careful and they got themselves in situation where they awfully  lost control of their infrastructure, lost the ownership.”

Onyeama insisted that Boko haram had been degraded. “We don’t by any way strength of imagination minimize those but it’s really a different kind of warfare as it is and the government is sparing no effort in addressing that. But it is a different challenge that requires intelligence and also understanding the environment that these kind of unlimited support for Boko Haram indoctrination of young children.

“But as far as military classical threat, we have certainly degraded the capacity of Boko Haram to beat a classical retreat.”

He faulted the claim that it took the government a week to acknowledge the Dapchi girls’ abduction.

He said ” It is incorrect to say we took a week to acknowledge. It was acknowledged immediately everything was being done and we were strategizing.

The post Video: U.S. to back 110 Dapchi girls’ rescue appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

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