THE Nigerian military has vowed not to reveal the whereabouts of the remaining Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram members.
Acting Director of Defence Information, Defence Headquarters, Abuja Brig.-Gen. Rabe Abubakar yesterday gave the military’s position.
Over 200 pupils of Chibok Secondary School were abducted from their school in Borno State in April 2014.
Thirty of them have regained freedom since last year. But the remaining are still in captivity.
Camp Zero in Sambisa Forest, where it was believed the girls were kept, was recently seized and destroyed by troops.
Brig.-Gen. Abubakar, who spoke with reporters in Port Harcourt yesterday, said: “Neither the military nor any security agency will give information on the Chibok girls in order not to jeopardise their safety.”
The acting director, who promised that the military would rescue the girls, insisted that “information on strategy to rescue them will never be disclosed”.
On Boko Haram, he said the terrorist group has been destroyed and its “members in disarray”.
He said the pockets of attacks being witnessed were carried out “by escapees”, stressing that “Boko Haram can never regroup as they did in Sambisa Forest.”
He said female suicide bombers were being drugged before being sent on suicide missions.
Brig.-Gen. Abubakar exonerated the military from partisanship, saying that any soldier found to be partisan would be ejected and if found wanting, he would be dismissed.
He urged the media to be cautious of national security in their reportage, advising that the media should always be guided by national interest.
The acting Director of Defence Information also spoke yesterday at the Press Centre, Yenagoa, while visiting the leadership of the Bayelsa State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He said the military was determined to ensure peace and unity.
He declared that the era of secrecy in the military was over.
Brig.-Gen. Abubakar sought the cooperation of journalists in the Niger Delta region to help the military succeed in its operations.
The acting director added that the military needed the support of all stakeholders while carrying out its mandate of protecting life and property as well as critical national assets across the country.
He said: “We need ourselves for this great country to move forward. We have responsibility to protect the lives of innocent citizens. It is only when we do that that we can move the country away from crisis.
“Our duty as military is to ensure total peace not only in the Niger Delta, but in all areas where we have operations.”
Brig.-Gen. Abubakar noted that the Operation Delta Safe (ODS) was established to protect oil and gas facilities in the region.
He explained that the openness of the military was behind the reason he embarked on tours to media houses to relate with relevant stakeholders in the country’s six geo-political zones, including the Niger Delta.
“The essence is: there is a policy shift in the military now. The issue of secrecy is now gone. We are now open. And because of this openness, we decided that we should extend a hand of fellowship to stakeholders, especially the media”.
The Chairman of NUJ, John Angese, hailed Abubakar for the visit.
He lauded the armed forces for the sacrifice they paid to ensure Nigeria remained a united country. (The Nation)