Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
The Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Ibn Garbai El-Kanemi, has told the fact-finding committee set up to probe the abduction of over 200 school girls in Chibok that none of the leaders of the Boko Haram sect is from the Borno State.
The Shehu told members of the committee who paid him courtesy visit on Monday that the spate terrorist activities taking place in the state is alien to the people and described the abduction of school children as very unfortunate.
“They cannot claim to be from here. The problem was brought to us from elsewhere. What is happening now is unfortunate. It is entirely new to us,” he said.
Chairman of the committee, Ibrahim Sabo, a retired Brigadier Feneral, expressed regrets that Maiduguri which was once famous for the trans-Saharan trade has now become a centre for nefarious acts and has suffered severe socio-economic ‘dislocation’ in recent years.
He said the committee which arrived in Maiduguri on Sunday had entered a crucial phase of its assignment to clear the mysteries surrounding the abduction.
“We are not here with preconceived notions. We are here to find facts that will lead to a resolution of the current hostage-taking involving the schoolgirls,” he said.
Sabo explained further that the committee while in Borno would engage a wide range of stakeholders to enable it to have a holistic understanding of the matter and advise the federal government accordingly.
The committee also held a closed door meeting with security chiefs in the state.
Spokesman for the committee, Kingsley Osadolor, told journalists that the committee spent last week in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, where it engaged in interactive sessions and consultations with a broad range of stakeholders.
Among the issues which the committee investigation seeks to explain are why the school was left open for boarding activities in view of the security challenges without providing necessary security measures, how many girls were truly abducted and their identities as well as the circumstances surrounding the escape of some of the girls.