Army Retracts Statement Claiming Kidnaped Girls Have Been Freed
Barely 24 hours after the Defence Headquarters issued a statement claiming that the students of Government Girls’ Secondary School Chibok, Borno, who were kidnapped by boko haram terrorist has been rescued, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information has issued yet another statement discrediting the previous one.
The Defence Headquarters had on Wednesday said the all but 8 of the 217 abducted girls had been free following a hot pusuit of the insurgents by security forces.
But in a fresh statement issued on Thursday, Olukolade said “The controversy that has been generated around the efforts at securing the lives of the abducted students of Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok is unfortunate. The ongoing frantic efforts of security forces along with vigilante groups including hunters working to locate and free the abducted students have continued to be keenly monitored at the Operation Centre of the Defense and Army Headquarters as regular progress reports are being received from troops on the ground.
“In this regard, a report was filed in from the field indicating that a major breakthrough had been recorded in the search. There was no reason to doubt this official channel, hence the information was released to the public immediately. Surprisingly however, the school principal, one of the sources quoted in the report has denied all that was attributed to her for whatever reasons. This is an unfortunate development indeed, yet the Defense Headquarters would not want to join issues with anyone.
“It has to be reaffirmed however, that the report forwarded to the public on this issue was in good faith and not intended to deceive the public as is being interpreted following the denials by the School principal and Government of Borno State. Like all other citizens, the military is deeply concerned to ensure that the students are safe and freed alive. There is indeed no reason to play politics with the precious lives of the students. The number of those still missing is not the issue now as the life of every Nigerian is very precious.
“In the light of the denial by the principal of the school, the Defense Headquarters wishes to defer to the school principal and Governor’s statement on the number of students still missing and retract that aspect of earlier statement while the search continues”the statement concluded.
Over 100 girls were abducted by the boko haram terrorists.
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