Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima on Wednesday reacted to news about rescue of 293 females from Boko Haram detention, describing the military’s operation as gratifying regardless of whether or not the rescued women form part of the over two hundred schoolgirls stolen by insurgents at Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State on April 14, 2014.
Speaking through his spokesman, Isa Gusau, Governor Shettima said “the lives, safety and well-being of all citizens of Borno are of equal importance to him and as such he celebrates news about the rescue with so much excitement in a manner he would celebrate when the military succeeds in freeing the Chibok schoolgirls who he said are very dear to him as they are to the entire world given the fact that they were kidnapped under a special circumstance as they were in school and captured together in large numbers”.
The Governor said his administration would prefer the military to remain the principal channel of information to the public since the rescue was a product of military operation and in order to avoid multiple sources of information that could bring about mixups.
“I was so full of excitement, gratitude to God almighty and commendation to our gallant armed forces for this great humanitarian feat. For me, the lives, safety and welfare of all citizens of Borno State are of equal importance. These rescued women are daughters, sisters and perhaps also mothers whose lives are important not just to their loved ones but also to me as Governor of Borno State whose mandate is to cater for the welfare of all those living in any part of Borno State regardless of who they are, their faith, gender, age, geopolitical origins and other background elements. They are important to us and words cannot explain how please are. We are very particular about Chibok schoolgirls because of the peculiar manner in which they were kidnapped and how that kidnapped has redefined the Boko Haram insurgency. The Chibok schoolgirls are very dear to my heart because they were kidnapped while they were in school. Their kidnapp is very symbolic because their kidnappers are opposed to western education especially female education. The entire world especially myself, is desperate about the rescue of the Chibok schoolgirls in order not to allow the ideology held by the insurgents to thrive and to encourage education which is the foundation of any human or society that seeks to develop. However, this rescue is also very dear to me. I am as pleased as much as I would be when the Chibok schoolgirls are rescued by the special grace of God. I am very optimistic, prayerful and supportive of the military’s ongoing rescue and counter insurgency operations. We won’t give up on the Chibok schoolgirls like I said two weeks ago. No sane parent gives up on a missing child. I have daughters and I know the love of a parent to the girl child. For now, it is better to allow the military handle things, conduct their investigations and ascertain the identity of those rescued but irrespective of the identity of the girls, we are very happy they have been rescued whether they are citizens of Borno or any where else. I kindly urge the media to refer to the military for updates on the matter so that there are mixups at any point. I kindly call on all citizens of Borno and other fellow Nigerians to pray for our armed forces and volunteers to succeed so that good will triumph over Evil. We have abiding faith in God that he will see us through these times and we shall overcome the temporary but traumatic moment griefs. God will set Chibok girls and all Nigerians free from fear and the brutality of Boko Haram Insurgents and others in their league” Shettima was quoted to have said according to Gusau’s statement.