President Muhammadu Buhari, in an interview on BBC Hausa service on Tuesday disclosed that the Chibok girls have been dispersed and some of them, especially Christians, married off against their faith.
Asked if he received any information about the whereabouts of the kidnapped Chibok girls, he said: “They (Boko Haram insurgents) have scattered them, and (they) are being guarded at dispersed locations. Most of the girls are Christians and were forced to embrace Islam. The sect’s cruel leaders have married some of the girls, obviously against their wish. Others have been left to practice their religion but their condition could hardly be ascertained.
“Both ground and air security personnel in the Sambisa forest could spot where the girls are, but since the insurgents have also kidnapped housewives and other women, no one could say whether they mixed them or how they dispersed them. But efforts are being intensified and as people know, the three neighbouring governments of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger are helping us since these suicide bombers are now going to their areas and detonating the bombs in mosques and other places.”
On his efforts to check the Boko Haram insurgency, Buhari said: “One of the decisions we took soon after we came into office was to change the service chiefs and we overhauled the infantry. We mandated the military chiefs to change the infantry, re-train them, equip them with adequate weapons and put trained and qualified commanders for the soldiers. The three states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa know the successes being recorded now.”
Despite this success of the military, suicide bombers have continued to strike. The President fingered the international dimension of the insurgency and stressed the need for the support of local people in the war.
“Boko Haram members have pledged their allegiance to ISIS — an insurgent group from the Middle East, with enough money and its members were brainwashed into killing innocent people, including Al-Shabbab around Somalia, and Al-Qa’eda from Yemen, plus the ISIS itself around Syria and Iraq. If you can recall, ISIS even went to mosques in Saudi Arabia and killed people on about three to five occasions not to talk of doing same in Nigeria. So, the biggest problem here is how they brainwashed young people, including young girls, who go to mosques, churches, markets, motor parks and detonate bombs, kill themselves and other civilians. How we are going to overcome this is going back to the traditional security apparatus — community leaders, neighbours, district heads, emirs, who should begin to identify new faces in their localities and ask them where they come from and what brought them. They can identify them in either markets, or any other place. This is what will help us in that regard so that those planning to undertake suicide missions could be identified and they would be dealt with appropriately,” he said.