At least 106 Chibok girls and 11,894 others Boko Haram hostages have been freed so far through the efforts of the federal government and the Nigerian army.
The figure was made known on Thursday by the Minister for Defence Mansur Dan-Ali The minister spoke at a 2-day retreat organized by the ministry held at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Jos with the theme; “Enhancing Civil-Military Relations, A Panacea for promoting security and national development”According to the minister, “More than 12,000 Boko Haram captives have been freed; the figure includes the 106 Chibok girls that were abducted in2014.
“But that figure of success not withstanding, more needed to be done to consolidate on the efforts to sustain the peace and security currently enjoyed.“
For more to be achieved, the military components of the ministry and the civilians must work hard, understand each other and have mutual respect and trust.
“The combined efforts of members of the armed forces had successfully degraded the Boko Haram insurgents,making it difficult for members to regroup and carry out organised attacks,” he said.
In his remarks, Plateau Governor Simon Lalong described the retreat, targeted at enhancing civil-military relationship, as “apt and of great significance”.
Lalong said, “Plateau had had its share of security challenges and had seen seen how collaborations between the military and civilians had ensured quick resolution of internal conflicts”The governor called for more bridges of understanding between the military and civilians, saying that such unity was key to effective discharge of constitutional duties.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogora, in his remarks, declared that power was not in the barrel of the gun but in the content of the heart.
“Holding guns and ranks should not give anyone a sense of superiority over members of the society; it should be a humbling factor and be managed with a great sense of responsibility,” he said.
Dogara, however, urged civilians to respect constituted authorities and embrace regular dialogue on matters of national importance.