Abuja – President Goodluck Jonathan says he will “not sleep” or rest on his oars until the over 200 abducted girls in Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno, are rescued.
He stated this at a world press conference to mark the end of the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF) hosted in Abuja.
Jonathan, who appealed to the parents of the abducted girls to be patient and cooperate with government, said that the girls and their abductors were still within Nigeria.
He assured that with the support of the international community, the satellite imagery to be deployed would locate the kidnapped girls and they would be safely rescued.
“We plead with the parents, as a father, and the President of this country, I feel pained and I don’t sleep with my two eyes closed.
“And, I will not sleep with my two eyes closed until these girls are brought safely back to their parents.
“The attackers are in a part of Borno State described as Sambisa forest. It is a forest area and we are working with the experts that will used remote sensor to see that wherever they are we will seen.
“So, the best we can say is that they are within the Sambisa forest area.
“Of course, I agree that there are stories that they have moved outside the country but if they move that number of girls to Cameroon, people will see.
“So, I believe that they are still within Nigeria.”
The president said that he was in touch with a number of presidents and had been talking to all the presidents of neighbouring countries, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Benin.
“I am going beyond that also because the crisis we have in Nigeria cuts across Africa.
“It goes up to Central Africa, it goes up to North Africa. So, I am discussing with the leaders within the region and of course the world leaders that will support us.
“A number of the countries already their personnel have arrived Nigeria to assist us to find the girls; collectively we must find these girls.”
Jonathan clarified that contrary to the believe in some quarter, there was no slow response to the kidnap when it happened.
”Is a misconception, the response is not slow. I have explained this that Borno State can be described as the headquarters of the terrorists, Boko Haram; they are more in Borno State, then followed by Yobe and then Adamawa.
“These are the three states we have declared state of emergency already.
“So, they have military personnel in that state.
“Immediately this incident happened, they have been following it both the Army and the Air Force, they have been combing the area.”
The president thanked the organiser of the WEF for bringing the whole world to Nigeria, especially at the period the nation was facing the attacks of terrorists.
He said that if they had not come, “people will think that you cannot even spend a night in Abuja, but, at least, you have been here with us for the period, and you have seen that the country is moving.
“Yes, we have challenges but we are going to move on”.