Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has cautioned against cynicism and hopelessness about the recovery of the Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram, stressing that their recovery is uppermost in the mind of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“At any security council meeting that I have attended, the President, in particular, has always been concerned about the question of Chibok girls in particular. Of course, it comes out of ensuring that apart from the international importance attached to it, he reflects on the abduction as if any of the girls is one of his own,” Osinbajo said.
Speaking today in Abuja at a one-day Roundtable on Vulnerable People in Insurgency and other conflicts in Nigeria, a forum organised by the Office of the National Security Adviser, Prof. Osinbajo expressed the government’s appreciation to local NGOs, CSOs and international partners sought their continued collaboration and assistance in further addressing issues around the wellbeing of victims and the task of rebuilding the North East areas affected by insurgency.
He described as significant the day set aside to mark the anniversary of the kidnap of 217 Chibok girls in Borno State by Boko Haram terrorists. “It brings to fore some critical issues on the handling of the plight of vulnerable people notably the abduction of Chibok girls and the killings of Buni Yadi boys as well as the recent kidnap of three girls in Ikorodu, Lagos in a non-conflict area,” Osinbajo said.
Vice President Osinbajo stated that understanding that fundamental problems of poverty, corruption and lack of education are interconnected is critical to fashioning out long term solutions to the plight of vulnerable people in the country. He noted that vulnerable people are exposed to the harshest conditions not only in conflict areas but in everyday life.
According to him “interconnectivity of many issues like poverty, corruption and lack of education exposes the fact of vulnerability especially of women and girls in our society”, emphasizing that “the question of poverty and how poverty generally as an overarching issue exposes state system and institutions of state and make them impossible to solve most problems without addressing the fundamental questions first”.
Present at the forum were Ministers of Interior and Environment, representatives of National Security Adviser and Service Chiefs, Ambassadors of US, France, and the UK High Commissioners to Nigeria, representatives of European Commission, relevant government agencies as well as NGOs and CSOs including the Bring Back Our Girls, BBOG group.