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Published On: Fri, Apr 18th, 2014

Abducted girls, military lied

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Nigerian ArmyBy Evelyn Okakwu, Abuja & Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri

The Principal of Government Girls Secondary School Chibok in Borno state, Mrs. Asabe Kwambura, yesterday refuted claim by the Defence Headquarters that security forces have rescued most of students abducted by Boko Haram insurgents.

Our correspondent reported that the claim by the military authorities has generated controversy among parents and relations of the kidnapped girls.

The parents also insisted that none of their daughters was rescued, beside the 14 girls who had escaped from heir abductors on the day of the kidnap.

According to the Principal, who spoke on a BBC Hausa Service monitored in Maiduguri, apart from the 14 students who escaped from their captors, she was not aware that others were freed.

She denied having any discussion with the Director of Army Information, Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade, who had earlier said 129 students who were kidnapped from the school have been rescued.

The principal said nothing could be further from the truth than the information given by the Defence Headquarters, saying “I have not told anyone let alone the military that most of the girls have been released except eight”.

She said the statement of the military was “a blatant lie; I have not spoken to the Defence Headquarters spokesman,” she added. According to her, as at now, only the 14 students who escaped from the hold of Boko Haram have been freed.

There is nothing in the military statement that is true about our abducted girls,” Kwambura said.

“Up till now we are still waiting and praying for the safe return of the students; all I know is that we have only 14 of them, and the security people especially the vigilante and the well meaning volunteers of Gwoza are still out searching for them”, she further added.

She continued, “The military people too are in the bush searching. So we have not received any information that they have gotten the students yet. So let it be clear that all the information passed on the media by the military concerning 107 girls is not true.

“I, as the principal, did not tell any body any figure on released students other than what our Governor, His Excellency Kashim Shettima had informed the media.”

The principal said she was contacted by the military headquarters in Abuja yesterday and some person was asking her to confirm the number of girls released.

“I told them that I don’t want to be seen to be contradicting myself on that because what the governor said was what we know about; and I told them there may be additional rescue of the girls, but up to this moment we have not received any of them apart from what we had before,

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