Dapchi Girls: FG Acted Promptly – Lai Mohammed
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said on Thursday the Federal Government responded promptly to the abduction of students of Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, unlike the slow response of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to the kidnap of Chibok girls in April 2014.
He said the government had deployed over 200 hours of air search for the Dapchi girls.
He insisted that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had been “able to limit Boko Haram insurgents to their cowardly act of bombing soft spots and kidnapping.
He, however, appealed to the media for support and understanding as the nation was undergoing trying times.
Mohammed made the submissions in his remarks at the Foundation Laying Ceremony of the Editors’ Plaza by the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) in Abuja.
The minister’s response was provoked by taunts from a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, who wondered why Mohammed had lost his voice on the abduction of Dapchi girls unlike in 2014 when he took swipes at the Jonathan administration over Chibok girls’ abduction.
Mohammed said it was wrong for Akpabio to “compare apple with orange” on the Buhari’s administration’s approach to the abduction of Dapchi girls.
He said: “Now, don’t compare orange with apple. When Chibok girls were kidnapped it took the PDP government 18 full days to admit that the girls were kidnapped. This time we swung into action within 24 hours. And as I speak today I have been to Yobe State twice, the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Air Staff have been there.
“As of yesterday (Wednesday) we deployed over 200 hours of air search for the girls. Our appeal to the media today is to solicit for their support. We are now in trying times, it does not matter who is involved, we seek your support. We are not saying don’t criticize us but be very fair and do it in context.
“It is so easy to forget that less than three years ago, 20 out of 27 local government areas in Borno State were under the control of Boko Haram. It easy to forget that in 2013 and 2014 Boko Haram insurgents were strolling into Abuja. They attacked United Nations office and the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters in Abuja.
“But today we have been able to limit them to their cowardly act of bombing soft spots and kidnapping. Achieving this feat is not a small thing.”
Mohammed said the federal government had performed well in the last three years.