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We Will Ban Hijab if Suicide Attacks Continue – President Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said the Federal Government will ban the use of Hijab in the North-East if Suicide attacks using women continued in the region.

The President also said the government had no reliable information on where the Chibok girls are of if they are alive.

The President told a team of journalists during his maiden Presidential Media Chat that the “honest truth” was that the whereabouts of state of the girls were unknown.

He, however, said the Federal Government was keeping all options in a bid to free the girls. One of the options, according to him, is negotiating with Boko Haram, which abducted the girls from their school more than a year ago.

He said, “There is no firm intelligence where those girls physically are and what conditions they are in but what we learnt from our intelligence is that they (terrorists) kept on shifting them around so that they are not taken by surprise and they get freed.

“And a whole lot of them are not in one place and we don’t know how many divisions they have and where they are. There is no intelligence to say that the girls are alive and in one place. That is the honest truth.”

Commenting on the continued blasts in the North-East, President Buhari said, “We will have to ban the Hijab if this (the suicide attacks) continues.”

The President said he remained committed to fighting the anti-corruption war and ensuring that the constitutional rights of Nigerians were protected.

On the recent clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Buhari said he did not respond immediately because he was waiting for investigations to be concluded.

He said, “I was in touch with the governor of Kaduna State. Interestingly, the President of Iran spoke to me about it and I told him that as a government, we have a system. This thing happened in one state of the country and the governor has visited the area.

“We have a system of investigation as well as the military and as the head of the Federal Government; I must wait for the official report before I can come out and make a statement. So I am waiting for the Kaduna State Government and the army to come up with a report. It does not mean that the police and the DSS are not doing their role of finding out what actually happened.”

The President also defended the foreign exchange controls put in place by the Central Bank, saying, “We need power, railways, roads… These are our priorities; not people looking for money to bring in rice (to the country).”

He also said he needed to be “convinced” before accepting calls for the devaluation of the naira.

Buhari also faulted the agitation for Biafra, insisting that all regions were represented in his administration.

He said, “Help me define the extent of marginalisation. Who is marginalising them? Why? How? Do you know? … The constitution said there must be a minister from each state. Who is the Minister of Petroleum? Is he not Igbo? Who is the Governor of Central Bank? Is he not Igbo? Who is the Minister of Labour? Who is the Minister of Science and Technology? Who is the junior minister of education?”



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