The United States has offered to help Nigeria in the search for the 200+ schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram on April 14th.
According to Thisday:
The United States said yesterday that it had offered the federal government help in its search for around 200 girls abducted by Islamist militants from a school in Chibok, Borno State.
“We have been engaged with the Nigerian government in discussions on what we might do to help support their efforts to find and free these young women,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told a daily briefing.
“We will continue to have those discussions and help in any way we can,” Reuters quoted her as stating.
Harf did not elaborate on the kind of assistance Washington is offering, but said: “We know Boko Haram is active in the area and we have worked very closely with the Nigerian government to build their capacity to fight this threat.”
In fiscal year 2012, the United States provided over $20 million in security assistance to Nigeria, part of that to build the country’s military, boost its capacity to investigate terrorist attacks and enhance the government’s forensic capabilities, she said.
On a similar note, former Kwara State Governor, Senator Bukola Saraki has called on the international community to reciprocate the past assistance rendered by the Nigerian government by helping the country to bring back the abducted schoolgirls.
A statement issued by Saraki yesterday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, said: “Nigeria will embrace every act of support from our friends as no meaningful efforts are too small, and no attempts to bring back our girls will be considered insignificant.”
He, however, commended the country’s security personnel for their unwavering efforts in trying to locate the children, but added that it had become evident that the rescue efforts required the full support and cooperation of both Nigerians and its friends and allies in the international community, especially those that share borders with Nigeria.
“Since this ugly incident occurred, it has been evident that these rescue efforts require the full support and cooperation of both Nigerians, and our friends and allies in the international community – especially those that share our borders.
“Nigeria has always demonstrated that it is always ready to extend its hands in support when there is a crisis in the international community as demonstrated by our continental peacekeeping efforts. It is time for the international community to do the same,” he said.
Saraki said given the nature of the terrain in North-eastern Nigeria, the same level of technical support that the international community has provided in trying to locate the missing Malaysian Airline flight MH370 must at this time be extended to Nigeria.
“The degeneracy of this abduction has demonstrated that now more than ever, the world must come together to combat terrorism for the sake of our shared humanity,” he stated.
The senator added that Nigeria would embrace every act of support from “our friends. No meaningful efforts are too small and no attempts to bring back our girls will be considered insignificant.
“With the reports of the abducted girls being ferried to neighboring countries, fluid intelligence gathering and sharing at this time is also highly crucial.
“This is why I would like to also appeal to our friends and allies to provide our security agencies with any relevant information that will help in completing this mission.
“Our military must be supported in every way possible – in the same way that our political resolve must continue to remain strong. And, as a country, we must remain unrelenting and unanimous in demanding that the abducted girls be united back with their families.”
He also urged the federal government to continuously update the citizenry and the world on the progress being made with respect to the rescue of the girls, as well as the challenges it is encountering.
“This is no easy task. To surmount this, we must all work together. All hands must be on deck. Together, we can bring back our loved ones,” he said.
I hope that this is not just talk and some action will be taken as soon as possible.