Nigeria’s president has told the parents of 110 abducted schoolgirls that he had ordered all military and security agencies to search for them, in his first visit to their home town since suspected Islamist militants took them a month ago.
Muhammadu Buhari – who made security a cornerstone of his 2015 election win, and could face voters again next year – promised a renewed offensive against Boko Haram militants and defended his government’s record on limiting their territory.
“I’ve directed the army, air force, police, DSS and the rest of the security agencies to find the girls wherever they are,” he said at the start of tour of security hotspots across Nigeria.
Security has become a politically charged issue with less than a year until the next election, scheduled for February 2019. Buhari has not said if he will seek a second term.
The attack on the town of Dapchi in Yobe state on February 19 was the biggest mass abduction since Boko Haram took more than 270 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in 2014.