18 Mar 2015

"No news on abducted Chibok girls" - Army Chief

Hope dimmed, yesterday, on the rescue of abducted Chibok girls from Boko Haram terrorists as the Chief of Army Staff, General Kenneth Minimah, declared that despite the liberation of some towns and villages in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, the troops have not been able to establish the whereabouts of the schoolgirls.

They were abducted from Chibok about a year ago.

Addressing State House correspondents after the National Security Council meeting in Abuja, Minimah, however, expressed the hope that as more of the territories are recovered the girls may still be found.
He said: “No news for now. In all the liberated areas, we have also made inquiries but the truth is when the terrorists are running away they also run with their families. And those we have come in contact (with) have not made any comment suggesting that Chibok girls were there and taken away.

“But we are optimistic that as the war gets closer, the territory is becoming elusive to them (terrorists) and we will get further details on that.”
Only last month, President Goodluck Jonathan declared emphatically that the abducted girls were still alive and would soon be rescued.

In the heat of controversy last year over alleged negotiations with the sect to release the girls, which turned out to be a hoax, the sect leader, Abubakar Shekau, said the girls had been married off to Boko Haram fighters.

Shekau issued a new video in which he denied claims of a deal to free the 200 girls kidnapped in April, saying the girls would never be released because they had been “married off” to fighters.

“The issue of the girls is long forgotten because I have long ago married them off,” he said, laughing. “In this war, there is no going back.”

Speaking in Hausa, the local dialect, Shekau denied claims by Nigeria’s military and Presidency that they had reached a deal to end five years of deadly violence in the country’s north-east as well as agreement to release the Chibok girls.

Credit: Ben Agande/Vanguard

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