Nigerian Army, Foreign Troops Launches Military Operations in Sambisa Forest
The much awaited military action to free the almost 300 girls abducted from Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok one month ago has finally commenced as the Nigerian Army and foreign troops helping in the rescue operation have launched operation the long awaited military operation in Borno State.
This was disclosed yesterday by the Director General of the National Orientation Agency, Mr. Mike Omeri, during a combined press briefing addressed by the security agencies.
Omeri disclosed that soldiers have launched a medium-scale military operation to free the girls who have spent about one month in captivity.
Although Mr. Mike Omeri, who is also the Coordinator, National Information Centre on the Chibok Rescue Operation, refused to give details of the military operation for obvious security reasons, it was gathered that the soldiers have encircled the forest area while ground troops are moving cautiously into the thick bush supported by aircrafts.
He confirmed that the operation included surveillance, information sharing, aggressive push into the forests and other tactical activities that are completely military in nature..
Omeri, who was flanked by the Directorate of State Security Services [SSS] Spokesperson, Mrs. Marilyn Ogar, the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba and officials of the ministries of information and interior said: “The national operations have commenced. Foreign troops in collaboration with the Nigerian military are involved. However, the nature or full details of the operations will not be disclosed at this point because of security reasons. People are there on the ground and whenever they send in details, we will give them to you.”
At the briefing, the security officers parried general questions with journalists on efforts to locate the Chibok girls and they were equally evasive with their answers especially when they were asked to give the exact number of the girls that were located or identified in the recent video released by the insurgents.
Mr. Mike Omeri said the group does not want to contradict the Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, who claimed that about 77 of the girls in the picture have been confirmed to be the missing students.
Omeri also stated that contrary to widespread belief, the education establishment in Borno State has continued to function normally despite the Chibok abduction pointing out that schools were not shut down and that students who had prepared for their examinations are going ahead with the process.
At a point, SSS Spokesperson, Mrs. Marilyn Ogar urged Nigerians to cooperate fully with the security forces by giving them relevant information that could lead to the defeat of insurgency.
“These insurgents live among the people. They share the same market and facilities with us but people are not willing to volunteer information about them so that the security forces can arrest them and prevent them from causing more havoc,” she remarked.
At yesterday’s briefing, the Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade was conspicuously absent and his colleagues stated that he travelled to Borno State to review the situation on ground.
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