“Please be assured that much as the forces may not disclose details of action being taken to secure the freedom of the girls, every information received on the subject is duly analysed & acted upon as necessary.”
The military has urged Nigerians to pray for a successful outcome in their efforts to free the remaining 230 girls abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.
Chris Olukolade, the military spokesperson, while responding to a PREMIUM TIMES’ enquiry, Wednesday, on claims that a deal is “within reach” in the release of the girls, said that the military are doing their best to rescue the students.
“The concern & anxiety from all quarters is quite understandable,” Mr. Olukolade, a Major General, said in a text message response.
“Please be assured that much as the forces may not disclose details of action being taken to secure the freedom of the girls, every information received on the subject is duly analysed & acted upon as necessary.
“No information is being ignored in the concerted effort to ensure the safety & freedom of the girls. Just pray for the successful outcome of all the efforts please,” he added.
Channel 4, a U.K. based media organization, had reported on Tuesday that a hostage negotiator, who is in direct contact with the kidnappers, disclosed that a deal for the safe release of the girls is being finalized.
“The girls, we believe, are alive but they have been moved from the location to which they were originally taken,” the negotiator, who was not named, reportedly said.
“It would not be hard to engineer a deal. It looks like they want to release them. They want a way out,” he added.
In their report, the tv station stated that it had established that the school girls are no longer being held in Boko Haram’s bush camps inside the Sambisa forest.
“Instead, the hostages have, we understand, been split into smaller separate groups, a number of whom have been taken close to – or across – Nigeria’s eastern border with Cameroon. This is an area from which Mohammed Nur, one of Boko Haram’s leading commanders is known to operate,” the report added.
About 273 girls were abducted from their school by suspected Boko Haram insurgents two weeks ago.
Of the number, about 43 had escaped from the captors unharmed and have reunited with their families.
Nigerians have largely criticized the federal government for failing to show concerted efforts – or empathy – in rescuing the abducted teenage girls.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives summoned Alex Badeh, the Chief of Defence Staff, and other Service Chiefs over the military’s efforts to rescue the girls.
Several protests are also being held to demand for the release of the girls. One organized by the Women for Peace and Justice holds Wednesday afternoon in Abuja.0