Nigeria may be expecting the United States to help, with information gathering, locate the Chibok girls, kidnapped by Boko Haram two years ago, but the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, averred on Thursday that President Barack Obama’s country does not know where the girls are, because “Boko Haram has been very good at shrouding its kidnappings”.
Ambassador Power spoke to journalists at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, shortly after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari. Transcripts of the interview were made available to TheSimonAtebaNews on Thursday morning by the U.S. Mission in Nigeria.
“We need to have a combined, multidimensional approach that combines whatever information we have, and Boko Haram has been very good at shrouding its kidnappings,” she said, responding to a question about the U.S. promised assistance in locating the Chibok girls.
Ambassador Power said the United States has provided to the Nigerian authorities all the information it had from the beginning, and has even increased surveillance and added some new information platforms.
“I think that, as you know, we have – from the very beginning of this crisis – moved to provide the information and intelligence that we have to the Nigerian authorities. We have in recent months been able to allocate additional information-sharing platforms, additional surveillance,” she said.
“The way that that works is that the information and the intelligence works best and most effectively for the people of the countries in the region when our partners are acting on the ground effectively against Boko Haram. And acting effectively entails both effective security operations, but also being responsive to the needs of the civilian population – whether in Nigeria, or in Cameroon, Chad, any of the countries in the region affected by Boko Haram”.
Ambassador Power had visited some Nigerian refugees in Cameroon before visiting Nigeria and said the Boko Haram’s abduction of the Chibok girls remains a priority to the United States.
“I would note – especially having come from Cameroon, where we met with lots of Nigerian refugees who have sought shelter in Cameroon – we met many mothers who had lost their daughters and their sons, as well, whose kids were abducted. And so I think it is very fair to say that the issue of abductions and kidnappings by Boko Haram of the Chibok girls and of all who have been taken is a huge priority for the United States and it’s one we discussed at length with President Buhari in the meeting from which the ambassador and I have just come”, she said referring to the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James F. Entwistle.