The Minister of Defence, Brig. Gen. Munir Dan-Ali, has said it will take years to rescue the remaining 19t5 Chibok school girls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014.
Dan-Ali said this in an interview he granted the Hausa Service of the Voice of America monitored in Abuja on Tuesday.
Boko Haram terrorists abducted 276 school girls from a secondary school in Chibok on April 14, 2014. Although some of the girls have been found, 195 are still missing.
Meanwhile, the missing girls’ parents have vowed they will continue to march on the Presidential Villa,Abuja, every day until they are granted audience by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The parents, who were again refused access to the State House on Tuesday, claimed they had become the president’s enemies after voting him into power.
Dan-Ali said the military had been pushing hard into areas where remnants of Boko Haram fighters are hiding within Sambisa forest, a vast area covering parts of three states in the North-East.
He was quoted as saying it took America a long time before it found Osama Bin Laden who was the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terrorists’ attacks in the United States.
Dan-Ali was quoted as saying, “It took America eight up to 10 years before it found Osama Bin Laden.”
Observers are of the view that, in spite of the many military victories over the terrorists, the inability to locate and free the remaining girls remains a sore point.
The kidnapped girls’ parents led by Rev. Enoch Mark, whose two daughters are among the missing ones, complained about the Presidency’s approach to the issue.
He said, “We are very sorry for giving Mr. President our votes. We voted Mr. President hoping he would rescue our daughters but we have become his enemies.
“Why can’t the president communicate with us, are we not Nigerians? Is that good for a president; a leader, to show such attitude. We believe the president is against the Chibok Community.”
Citing the plane crash incident in Malaysia, the cleric said the government of the Asian country consistently maintained links with the families of the victims during the tragedy and wondered why the Federal Government failed to empathise with the parents of the missing girls.
Mark questioned the capability of the government to rescue the girls, claiming that it was not involved in the rescue of the girls that were found.
“If our military are not capable of rescuing our children, that means any country can come in, fight and defeat Nigeria. It is sad that our president overlooked the military intelligence and told us he doesn’t know the whereabouts of our girls, it is very shameful,” he said.
President of the Chibok Community in Abuja, Hosea Tsambido, said the parents would continue their protest.
The parents had protested to the State House on Friday and insisted on meeting with the President or his wife,Aisha, but they were persuaded to come back on Tuesday to see her.