Service Chiefs got yesterday an order to rescue the 234 girls abducted at the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.
The girls will be rescued, the military chiefs told the National Security Council meeting in Abuja. Troops were closing in on the insurgents, they said, in what they described as a “highly tactical” operation.
The meeting, The Nation learnt, was tension soaked, with Governors Godswill Akpabio(Akwa Ibom) and Martin Elechi (Ebonyi) descending on their Adamawa State counterpart Murtala Nyako for alleging geneocide against the North.
According to a source at the meeting, who pleaded not to be named, in spite of the fact that discussion of Nyako’s “toxic” memo to Northern Governors dominated the session, the fate of the abducted girls was also touched.
The source said: “The Service Chiefs gave a detailed account of the operations being carried out to rescue the girls unhurt. They explained that they had to be highly tactical to avoid casualties.
“They repeatedly told us that the ‘troops are closing in on the insurgents’, but they did not want to divulge tactical information to the meeting.
“They also said the military was aware of the expectations of Nigerians on the girls and they promised not to let down the nation.”
President Goodluck Jonathan pleaded for understanding and cooperation of the governors in addressing the insecurity nationwide.
“He pleaded with the governors to mobilise Nigerians to support the military to win the war against terror.”
On the state of the girls, who were abducted by Boko Haram gunmen on April 15, the source said: “We all left the meeting with a ray of hope that the girls would be set free soon.”
A greater part of the meeting was devoted to discussing Nyako’s letter, which most of the governors reportedly found to be in bad faith.
The letter, it was said generated tension, Akpabio and Elechi chided Nyako for what they called his harsh tone.
“They shouted at one another and described Nyako as unpatriotic and and ethnic irredentist,” a source said.
Asked of Jonathan’s response to the drama, the source said: “You know he is a very restrained person, he was just watching.
“The same way the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sa’ad was all attentive and looking at the scenario.”
Nyako was not remorseful, The Nation learnt. He repeated the content of the letter – to the bewilderment of those at the meeting.
“He neither apologised nor withdrew the content or any part of the toxic letter. But he got the message of those at the session that his conduct was unacceptable to the governors.
“No one supported Nyako at the meeting. But he stood his ground, leaving most of us astonished,” the source said.