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FG promises to secure Leah Sharibu’s release, says negotiation with insurgents difficult, complicated

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Sandals strewn on the premises in the aftermath of the abduction at Government Science and Technical School, Dapchi, Yobe State./ AFP PHOTO / AMINU ABUBAKAR

The Federal Government yesterday said contrary to insinuation in some quarters, it has not abandoned negotiations for the rescue of the lone Christian Dapchi School girl, Leah Sharibu abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists, admitting however that efforts with the insurgents have been tortuous and complicated.

Sharibu has been in Boko Haram captivity since February 19, 2018 when she and 111 other girls were abducted in Dapchi School, Yobe state.Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed while fielding questions from State House Correspondents over the fate of the school girl said that negotiation with insurgents all over the world was always a tortuous exercise because it is not usually a face to face discussion.He said the Federal Government had not given up the effort as negotiations were still ongoing to secure her safe release.

“Anybody who negotiates with insurgents and terrorists in the world will know that is not a direct face  to face negotiation like we are doing.”Mohammed also said Federal Executive Council (FEC), gave approval for the inclusion of Imo State in the French Development Agency (AFD) credit of $60 million for scale up of the Second Rural Access and  Mobility Project (RAMP II).

He said the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun had presented the memo that included Imo State on the French Development Agency credit during the meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari. Adeosun said the development objectives of the project, like the first phase (RAMP I), was  to improve transport conditions and bring sustained access to the rural population, through rehabilitation and maintaining key rural transport infrastructure in a sustainable manner in Imo State.

RAMP II is expected to achieve an improvement in reducing cost of transportation of both passengers and goods, access to health facilities and improved income from agricultural activities in the affected communities.

Mohammed also said that council gave contractors handling the Oron-Calabar section of the East-West road a matching order to speed up completion for the rains.He said, “Council directed the Minister of Niger Delta to speed up re-negotiations with the contractors to ensure immediate resumption of the completion of that phase of road.”

Minister of Water Resources, Sulaiman Adamu said that the council approved the construction of an 80 meter expanded bridge, in Karu, Nasarawa, Constituency project at the cost of N719 million with completion period of two years.He said council approved another constituency project, the construction of earth dam irrigation scheme in Gwaranga, Bauchi State at the cost of N1.36 billion to be completed in two years.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said council also approved €21 million for the procurement of two tug boats for towage purposes on Nigerian waters. It also approved the sum of N703 million for the dredging of water in Baro, in preparation of the readiness of Baro Port.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the Magami-Kwajali-Ningi road connecting Bauchi and Kano state, which is 58.9 kilometers was approved at the cost of N15.454 billion. He also said that council approved the phase II of Abuja -Keffi-Akwanga-Lagos-Makurdi road.

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