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Missing 200 School Girls: Nigerian Military Lied, Retracts Statement

The Military authorities in Nigeria has retracted claims that it aided the release of nearly all the secondary school girls kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram members in Chibok, Borno state last Tuesday.

The retraction by the military came some few hours after a parent of an abducted girl claimed the Defense Ministry lied that most of the girls had been released leaving only 8 whose where about was still unknown.

The Director Defence Information/Coordinator, Major General Chris had in a statement said the military authorities made its initial claims based on what he described as reliable information it got.

He said the retraction was necessary because the Principal of the school had denied that many of the girls had been released contrary to earlier claims.

Said Olukolade, “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 denied all that was attributed to her for whatever reasons.  This is an unfortunate development indeed, yet the Defence 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”.

A news item by the CNN on the Chibok incident indicated that distraught parents had waited for return of their children for four days while putting their faith in a military rescue statement, a reason many no longer believed in the claim by the military.

According to CNN, Lawan Zanna, father of one of the students had expressed shocked that the government resorted to “blatant propaganda” and a “blatant lie”

The school principal Asabe Kwambura was also quoted to have said, “I never made that claim to anybody. A total of 14 out of the 129 students taken away managed to escape and the rest are still being held by their captors.”

Meanwhile, Musa Inuwa Kubo, the Borno state education commissioner, said Thursday that only 30 students had returned home.

According to CNN, the principal and Zanna each put the number at 14 while quoting Zanna as reporting that only three girls who escaped from their captors were returned home by herdsmen.

CNN also quoted a Senator from Borno state, Ali Ndume as saying that rescue teams, aided by surveillance helicopters, were moving deeper into the vast forest that extends into neighbouring Cameroon.

One of the rescued girls while recounting her ordeal said, “They left with us in a convoy into the bush. A group of motorcyclists flanked the convoy to ensure none of us escaped.”

“When a truck broke down, the girls inside were transferred to another truck and the broken one was set afire, the girl said.

“Another vehicle then broke down and, as the men tried to fix it, some of us jumped out of the vehicles and ran into the bush. We later found our way back to Chibok.”

According to CNN news, the UNICEF has called for the girls’ “immediate and unconditional release” and said attacks on Nigerian schools are getting out of control.

“British Foreign Secretary William Hague was among the world leaders condemning the kidnappings.

“We stand ready to provide assistance to help the Nigerian government ensure that these children can be returned to their families in safety, and to bring to justice those responsible” for the “cowardly act,” he said.





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