Chibok girls: President Jonathan inaugurates fact-finding committee

President Goodluck Jonathan today inaugurated a 30-man fact-finding committee to look into the rescue of kidnapped Chibok girls. The committee is expected to speak to the public at least once a day to keep everyone abreast with recent developments on the case.

The committee will look into issues surrounding the abduction of the girls and also consider possible rescue plans. While inaugurating the committee, the President said;

“You will agree with me that this is not a committee that brings joy to me and indeed our country men and women. However, it is a necessary step which government must take to confront the sad circumstances surrounding the abduction of female students, our daughters in Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok.

First let me make it very clear – luckily the Minister of Justice is here – that this committee is neither a judicial committee nor an administrative committee to look into the affairs of this incident. No. It is not administrative panel set up by federal government or a judicial committee. I must make that very clear because those are the responsibilities of the state and not that of the federal government. Continue…

I say so because before you know somebody will go to court and say that federal government is interloping in an area which is supposed to be an exclusive preserve of the state. The operation of the security and intelligence services will continue to intensify till our daughters are rescued and brought safely home to their families. Rather this committee will be primarily concern with providing public interface with all directly concerned in this tragedy, in order to provide a well-coordinated citizens input into the overall investigations.The whole world is watching you because that is why we made sure that an information officer is attached to you. Because I believe you will be speaking to the world every six hours or at least once a day as to the progress of the committee. I am appreciative of the fact that this sad incident has attracted global outrage. This is a clear testimony to the fact that humanity can come together and stand as one against evil no matter how it is presented. This is the time when we must dwell together beyond all political, religious or regional divide against our common enemy. We must remain vigilant and be ready to assist security agencies and authorities at all time,” he said.

Chairman of the Committee, Rtd. Gen. Ibrahim Sabo pledged that himself and the other members will do their best. Members invited from Borno state and the UN were absent at the inauguration.

Members of the committee include two representatives of the National Council of Women Societies, NCWS); two female representatives, Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools, ANCOPSS; two representatives of the national members of Parents Teachers Association; two representatives of the Nigeria Police, and two representatives of the State Security Service.

Others are two representatives of the Nigerian Army, two representatives of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, one representative of the Federal Ministry of Information (who would be the Committees’ Spokesperson), and one Representative of the Federal Ministry of Justice as well as three Representatives of the Borno State Government (two of whom, preferably, shall be women), one Representative of the United Nations, one Representative of ECOWAS (who shall be a woman) and the Permanent Secretary (Special Services Office) who shall be the Secretary of the Committee.

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