Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri have discovered another abducted Chibok girl, Rakiya Abubakar, with her six-month-old baby during an investigation of arrested Boko Haram terrorist suspects in the Alagarno area of Damboa Local Council of Borno State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usmanon, as saying yesterday in a statement in Abuja, that a preliminary investigation discovered “she is the daughter of Abubakar Gali Mulima and Habiba Abubakar of Chibok.”
He went on: “She further stated that she was a student of Senior Secondary School Class 3B (SS 3B) before her abduction along with her colleagues on April 14, 2014 by the Boko Haram terrorists.
“Rakiya Abubakar is presently undergoing further medical investigation and would soon be released to the Borno government.”
President Muhammadu Buhari expressed happiness over the development.
In a statement yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President noted that the recovery reawakened hope that the rest of the girls would be found and reunited with their families, friends and communities.
He commended the military for the diligent investigation that led to the recent feat, urging them to sustain the spirit.
Buhari assured Nigerians that government would to do all within its powers to assist the military in locating the rest of the girls and eradicating terrorism in the country.
But beyond the optimism of the other Chibok girls being found, there is the need for the government to make a definite move to look for them. Looking for them should be a vital part of the next phase of the campaign in the Boko Haram war after the defeat of the terrorists, rather than waiting for one of the abductees to show up before remembering that they are still alive.
Even with the complete routing of the Boko Haram stronghold in the notorious Sambisa forest, only 23 of the over 200 missing Chibok girls have been found, leaving most of them unaccounted for.
Meanwhile, the Theatre Commander, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, said to win the peace after the Boko Haram war in the North East, a multi-sectoral engagement in “intelligence and re-constructions projects” must be done.
Irabor spoke in Maiduguri whileAlso yesterday, the Borno government maintained it would not shield financiers and supporters of terror in any part of the state.
The spokesman to Governor Kashim Shettima, Isa Umar Gusau, who made the pledge in Maiduguri, said: “Nobody that chooses to work for Boko Haram insurgents will be covered up by the state as government has no interest in the arrest of the council chairmen of Mafa and Kaga by the military.”
But the boss of Kaga local council, Alhaji Lawal Wasaram, denied the claim by the military that it had arrested his deputy, Malam Mustapha Bukar, for alleged link with the terrorist sect.
He said the allegation was not only untrue but a total misinterpretation of facts.
“The attention of my council has been drawn to an allegation made by the Theatre Commander, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, during a live press briefing on Operation Rescue Final on Wednesday.
“The military claimed that they had arrested my Vice Chairman, Malam Mustapha Bukar, and that he is in their custody for complicity with Boko Haram.
“I, therefore, stress that the report was untrue and total misinterpretation of facts. Neither my Vice Chairman nor councillors are being investigated or detained over any criminal offence,” he stressed.
In a related development, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) commended the Federal Government for its efforts to rehabilitate the Chibok girls.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja by its president, Prof. Mike Ogirima and secretary general, Dr. Yusuf Sununu, the association also acknowledged the efforts of the government to restore peace in the North East.
parading 10 former Boko Haram commanders along with their foot soldiers.