Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a new investigation into the April 2014 kidnapping of more than 200 school girls in the northeastern town of Chibok, and the government’s response.
The girls were taken from their dormitories by the Islamist Boko Haram militant sect, sparking global outrage and promises by several Western nations to help in a rescue, which were never fulfilled. In recent months, the Nigerian army has managed to free hundreds of women abducted by Boko Haram, but the fate of the Chibok students remains unknown.
Thursday’s announcement came hours after the parents of some of the girls had met Buhari in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The investigation “will seek to, among other things, unravel the remote and immediate circumstances leading to the kidnap of the girls by Boko Haram, terrorists as well as the other events, actions and inactions that followed the incident”, according to a statement from his office.
During his meeting with the families of the kidnapped girls, President Buhari said: “I assure you that I go to bed and wake up every day with the Chibok girls on my mind. The unfortunate incident happened before this government came into being … [but] securing the Chibok girls is my responsibility”.
Buhari has so far initiated an investigation into suspicions that resources meant to engage Boko Haram are routinely stolen by corrupt military officials.
“This is the leadership that I inherited,” said Buhari. “God knows I have done my best and I will continue to do my best.”