Chibok Abduction: Our Findings May Threaten National Security – Presidential Committee
The presidential fact-finding committee on the abduction of the schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State yesterday submitted its report to President Goodluck Jonathan with an advice that the findings be kept secret as they had the potential of threatening national security as well as jeorpadising rescue efforts.
Chairman of the committee, Brigadier-General Ibrahim Sabo (rtd), who presented the report to President Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, urged the president to treat the said report with utmost confidentiality, saying issues contained in the report were such for which secrecy was needed in order not to frustrate on-going rescue operations as well as compromise national security.
“In view of the detailed security findings and recommendations contained in the report, we advise that in order not to jeopardise on-going rescue efforts and also the possibility of compromising national security matters, we recommend that the report be treated with utmost confidentiality. This, however, does not preclude government from releasing information that may be useful for better public understanding of issues surrounding the abduction saga,” he said.
Confirming the actual number of girls kidnapped and those still being held hostage by the insurgents, he said: “Mr President, the committee wishes to lay to rest any residual doubt about whether or not any student was abducted at Chibok. There was mass abduction on the night of April 14, 2014. During the siege on the school, 119 students escaped from the school premises, before the insurgents took away their classmates. A total number of 276 students were, thus, abducted. As of today, 57 of the abducted students have been reunited with their families after escaping along the zig-zag transport route taken by the insurgents, or by bolting to safety when the insurgents laid by for a rest. Sadly, 219 students remain unaccounted for.
“Much as Nigerians and the rest of the world have been galvanised to drum up support for freedom for the Chibok schoolgirls, little will be achieved through finger-pointing. Getting the girls out, and safely, too, is by far more important than the publicity generated by the blame game that has tended to becloud the issue.”
On the content of the report, Sabo said: “As most Nigerians already know, there were some persons who doubted whether, in fact, any student was abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok. On the other hand, for those who believed that there was abduction, there were lingering doubts as to how such a number of kidnap victims were conveyed, considering also that information was sparse as to how the raiding insurgents evacuated the victims.
“Details of the circumstances of Government Secondary School, Chibok, remaining open, in spite of the ravages of Boko Haram in the state, are contained in the report of the committee. Also contained in the report is the detailed explanation of the painstaking measures taken by the committee in arriving at the number of students still to be accounted for.”
He further told the president that the parents and relatives of the abducted schoolgirls were burning with hope and wishes, as they pray fervently that their daughters and wards be rescued alive and reunited with their families.
“But there is no mistaking the trauma and deep-seated fear of some of the schoolgirls who escaped from the Boko Haram abductors. The parents and guardians of the schoolgirls are no less gripped by nagging worries over the incident. On May 29th, the committee visited Chibok, where we interacted with community members and leaders, as well as parents and four of the girls who regained their freedom from the abductors.
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org