A leading opposition in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party has thrown its weight behind the decision of House of Representatives to open an independent investigation into the Abduction of the 110 Dapchi school girls.
The party said the action of the House in setting up an ad hoc committee to investigate the abduction underscored the legislators’ consensus for a non-aligned inquest, particularly against the backdrop of speculations of conspiracy theory, conflicting reports and disagreement among government officials and agencies on the matter.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Thursday said the party took cognisance of the fact that the House of Representatives, in approving the motion by Mr Goni Lawan from Yobe State, shared the apprehensions that there could have been a deliberate design to hide the facts of the matter, which underpins the demand by Nigerians to know the truth.
Ologbondiyan urged the House of Representatives not to lose sight of the submission from Lawan, which he claimed collaborated the claims by the Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, that the abduction was preceded by the withdrawal of troops guarding the area.
He said, “Nigerians are eagerly looking up to the National Assembly for credible findings.
“This is more so as Nigerians have lost faith in the investigative committee set up by the Federal Government on this matter as reports from various other committees set up by this administration on important national issues have never been implemented by the government.”
Ologbondiyan appealed to the lawmakers, to make use of the powers conferred on them by the 1999 Constitution (as amended), to summon and investigate relevant security agencies, cabinet ministers and all other officials whose assignments he said, dwelt on the abduction.
He also charged the House to unravel the source of the misleading rescue report which he alleged frustrated immediate actions that “could have led to the rescue of our girls.”
Meanwhile, the military authority on Thursday sought the cooperation of the media and inhabitants in the troubled north-east, as well information that could lead to the recovery of the abducted girls.
The appeal came after a meeting on “strategic plan to rescue the 110 abducted Dapchi schoolgirls.’’
At the meeting were Service Chiefs, who reportedly sat with the leadership of the counter-insurgency operation in the North-East, Operation Lafiya Dole.
The Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. John Agim, said the Service Chiefs came to review the ongoing military operations, particularly the operation to get back the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls.
Agim said, “The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has solicited the cooperation of the media and other stakeholders in the ongoing operation to rescue the abducted girls.
“The COAS has asked for maturity from the media so that we don’t speculate.
“For instance, there are some speculations that the military employed the services of fishermen and farmers.
“These speculations can jeopardise the operations and endanger the lives of the abducted schoolgirls, as well as all those involved in the operations.
“While the military is soliciting useful information from the general public, it has not singled out fishermen and farmers for this assistance to rescue the abducted girls, who are between the ages of 11 and 19.
“Rather, the military is asking that anybody who has useful information to come forward. What we will be doing henceforth is to limit the way we publicised strategies used.
“We will communicate the successes of the rescue operations, rather than talk about strategies.”