The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) promised again on Monday that all children kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists would be set free during his regime.
He spoke at a breakfast dialogue on ‘‘Stop the War on Children Affected by Armed Conflicts, Dividend of Silencing the Guns’’, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, held on the margins of the ongoing 33rd African Union Summit.
Nigeria, Uganda, Norway, the AU Commission and Save the Children sponsored the dialogue.
Buhari said, ”A number of schoolgirls from Chibok and Dapchi earlier abducted by Boko Haram have regained their freedom.
”We commend the gallant efforts of the Multi-National Joint Task Force and the partners in supporting the reintegration of the girls.
”Let me categorically reassure you of the steadfast commitment of the Government of Nigeria to ensure the freedom of all kidnapped children from the shackles of Boko Haram.
”We will not relent until every child, boy, or girl, every Nigerian adult in custody of Boko Haram, is freed.”
Among the children being held is Leah Sharibu, the Dapchi schoolgirl denied freedom on account of refusing to denounce Christianity.
The PUNCH reported that 276 girls were abducted from their school in Chibok, Borno State, on April 14, 2014, by Boko Haram but 57 of the girls escaped to safety almost immediately.
The insurgents eventually went away with 219 of them. Over a number of years, 107 of the Chibok girls regained freedom but till date, 112 are missing.
A State House statement on Monday said Buhari urged African countries and stakeholders on the continent to strengthen the protection of children from the six grave violations during armed conflict.