Nigerian leader orders investigation into kidnapped girls
Jan. 15, 2016
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — President Muhammadu Buhari is ordering an investigation into Boko Haram's mass kidnapping of the schoolgirls from Chibok and its aftermath, but signaled no progress in efforts to rescue the students abducted nearly two years ago.
Buhari told parents of the missing students that he goes to bed and wakes up every day "with the Chibok girls on my mind."
The president announced the investigation Thursday, telling parents it will seek to unravel the circumstances that led to the April 15, 2014 kidnapping and the actions and inactions that followed, according to a statement.
Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, the chief of defense staff, accompanied the president and told the parents that the military has the ability to rescue the Chibok girls but "intelligence is delicate and we don't want to do anything to jeopardize the lives of the girls."
Buhari has said his government is willing to negotiate with Boko Haram, amid reports the Islamic extremists are demanding detained members in exchange for the girls, but that they have been unable to identify credible leaders in the fractured insurgency with whom to talk.
Some 276 girls were kidnapped from a government boarding school in the remote northeastern town of Chibok. Dozens escaped on their own but 219 remain missing.
The abduction brought international attention to Nigeria's home-grown extremists and the failures of then-President Goodluck Jonathan and his military to rescue the girls.
Faul reported from Johannesburg.