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Nigerian Spokesman: Girls’ Rescue Reaffirms President’s Promise

Muslim women pray at a meeting calling on the government to rescue the kidnapped girls of the government secondary school in Chibok, in Abuja, Nigeria, May 27, 2014.

A spokesman for Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said the rescue Tuesday of 200 girls and 93 women is a major breakthrough in the fight against terrorism.

Reuben Abati said it also reaffirms Jonathan’s promise to rescue the girls alive. He said the news is so big that it will gladden the hearts of all peace lovers around the globe.

Abati would not say whether the rescue had come too late following Jonathan’s loss during the March 28 election to challenger Muhamadu Buhari.

He said the rescue is more important to Jonathan than political ambition.

“Whatever is the real identity of the girls in terms of whether they are the girls from Chibok or girls from anywhere, I think that this is a major breakthrough in the fight against terror. It is a reaffirmation of President Jonathan’s commitment which he has stated again and again that his administration will ensure that the girls are rescued and will do everything possible to ensure that they are rescued alive,” he said.

“President Jonathan is leaving office on May 29th, and I think that personally he, too, must be happy that the operation in the northeast has recorded this huge success. The identity of the girls, whether they are from Chibok or from wherever, the fact that these are human beings who have been rescued from the captivity of terrorists is more important to him than political ambition,” he said.

President-elect Buhari has promised to "spare no effort" to defeat Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

"Boko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will. We should spare no effort," Buhari said in his first formal speech since winning the election. "In tackling the insurgency, we have a tough and urgent job to do."

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