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No Chibok Girl Has been Rescued by Troops, Defence Chief Says

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The Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, on Sunday denied media reports that Nigerian troops had rescued some of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.

In 2014 about 270 schoolgirls were abducted when Boko Haram terrorists attacked their school in Chibok, Borno State.

While some of the girls managed to escape, others spent over two years with their abductors before the Nigerian government negotiated their release.

About a hundred of the girls are still in the captivity of the insurgents.

Last week, an online medium reported that some of the schoolgirls escaped from a Boko Haram camp during a military operation.

This report was followed by others especially by international media like CNN and BBC who claimed to have spoken with the father of a rescued schoolgirl, Halima.

The media outfits that reported the incident quoted the father narrating how he spoke with his daughter who reportedly asked, “Is this my father?”

‘Not true’
Reports suggest that the new Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, asked the top soldier to confirm whether the military had rescued any Chibok Schoolgirl.

“The military has been conducting operations in all the local government areas of Borno state and the operation has been on now for well over one month, and the intensity of the operation has led to so many of those held behind lines escaping,” he said.

“What we know is that we do not have any of the Chibok schoolgirls in our custody. If they’re not with us what do you want us to confirm to you?

“Yes, we desire to rescue the rest of the Chibok girls and any other person behind the lines…gladly. If our operations have helped those that have been alleged to have escaped I think we are glad. We hope to strengthen the efforts that we are putting now to free the rest that are behind lines.”

A report by CNN claimed that a father, Ali Maiyanga, said some of the girls “have finally escaped from their captors”.

“She asked me. Is this my daddy? Is this my daddy, and she started crying. The crying was [so] much and I couldn’t hear her very well,” the father reportedly told a CNN reporter.

The man further told the CNN reporter that the whole family was “so happy. Our house is full of people who are rejoicing with us.”

The report also quoted the father allegedly saying that he “didn’t get a chance to speak to his daughter properly, as she was emotional and the call was short. But he said she and others are safe and being looked after by the Nigerian army.”

And that “she was calling from a phone line belonging to a security official.”

Local journalists have tried without success to reach the reported father of the allegedly rescued girl.

Mr Maiyanga had two of his daughters, Maryam and Halima, amongst the schoolgirls abducted in April 2014. One of them, Maryam, managed to escape but her younger sister is believed to still be in the custody of the insurgents.

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