Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
Contrary to information released Wednesday that 14 of the over 100 females students of the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno had escaped from their abductors, the Nigerian military has claimed that it rescued an unspecified number of them without giving any details.
Also, contrary to information from the school that at least 50 students were still reported missing by their parents, a statement issued Wednesday evening by the director of defence information, Major General Chris Olukolade, claimed that only 8 of the students are still missing.
Four of the students had escaped from the gunmen who kidnapped them when the vehicle in which they were being conveyed broke down, while 10 more were said to have escaped from the insurgents’ camp.
Governor Kashim Shettima announced today that the 10 girls who had been asked to prepare meals in the terrorists’ camp used the opportunity of time given them to wash plates to plan and execute their escape
However, in two terse statements, Olukolade claimed that the military had rescued some students without giving their number or any other details.
In the first statement titled “More Students Of Government Girls’ Secondary School Chibok Freed; Normalcy Returns To Wukari” the army general simply said that “more of the abducted students of Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State have this afternoon been freed”.
He said that this happened “as troops pursuing the terrorists close in on the den of those believed to have carried out the attack” giving the impression that the military had a hand in the girls’ freedom. However, curiously, he did not state how many of the female students were freed and where.
In the second statement issued later by the defence spokesman titled “More Chikok Students Rescued”, the military stated that “More students of the Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok have been freed this evening in the ongoing Search & Rescue operations to free the abducted students.
While providing conflicting information about whether the students were rescued or freed, again it did not have any information about the number of students set free or rescued
The statement said further :”With this development, the Principal of the school has confirmed that only 8 of the students are still missing. One of the terrorists who carried out the attack on the school has also been captured.”