57 CHIBOK GIRLS SEEN IN CAMEROON – PAR­ENTS

Sunday Trust - - FRONT PAGE - From Kabiru R. Anwar, Yola

Fifty-seven Chibok school girls be­ing held by Boko Haram have been sighted in two vil­lages in Cameroon, par­ents of the ab­ducted girls told Daily Trust on Sun­day yes­ter­day. The girls were seen by other fe­male cap­tives who at dif­fer­ent times were kept by the in­sur­gents in the two vil­lages in north­ern part of Cameroon, the Chair­man of Chibok Girls Par­ents As­so­ci­a­tion, Yakubu Nkenke, told our cor­re­spon­dent yes­ter­day. Nkenke said the girls who es­caped and re­turned to their vil­lage near Chibok, dis­closed that the 57 girls were bro­ken into two groups and held in Garin Ma­gaji and Garin Mal­lam vil­lages lo­cated in Marwa in north­ern Cameroon. Ac­cord­ing to him, all the girls were mar­ried off to Boko Haram fight­ers across the bor­der and many of them had chil­dren. “Some of the cap­tives es­caped from the vil­lages and spent months in mil­i­tary fa­cil­ity in Bama, where they were screened be­fore they were fi­nally re­leased. One of them told us she met many of our ab­ducted girls in two Cameroo­nian vil­lages”, he dis­closed. “Seven of the ab­ducted Chibok girls are liv­ing in Garin Ma­gaji, while 50 oth­ers are held in Garin Mal­lam where they live with their hus­bands and chil­dren,” he added. Nkenke said tes­ti­monies from par­ents as well as records in the as­so­ci­a­tion’s reg­is­ter matched the names of the girls men­tioned by the es­capees.

Call­ing on Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari to col­lab­o­rate with his Cameroo­nian coun­ter­part to res­cue the girls, Nkenke said he be­lieved the mil­i­tary had got the in­for­ma­tion when they screened the es­capees in Bama five months ago.

The Chibok leader noted that the in­for­ma­tion had thrown Chibok com­mu­nity into con­fu­sion and grief as par­ents ex­pected the au­thor­i­ties to swing into ac­tion.

Daily Trust had re­ported on Fri­day that 25 par­ents of the ab­ducted girls have died. How­ever, Nkenke re­it­er­ated that the par­ents re­mained grate­ful to the fed­eral govern­ment un­der Buhari, for ne­go­ti­at­ing the re­lease of 112 girls and res­cu­ing four oth­ers.

“Fol­low­ing the visit to Dapchi town by a fed­eral govern­ment del­e­ga­tion to meet the par­ents of Leah Sharibu, the only re­main­ing Dapchi school girl in Boko Haram cap­tiv­ity, the par­ents of more than 100 Chibok girls still with the in­sur­gents called on Pres­i­dent Buhari to ex­tend a sim­i­lar ges­ture to Chibok.

“The par­ents trust the Buhari ad­min­is­tra­tion be­cause they ful­filled their prom­ises on the freed 103 girls. Even the four who es­caped on their own were able to make it be­cause of the pres­sure mounted on the in­sur­gents. But as hu­man be­ings they feel it is tak­ing too long to bring back their chil­dren af­ter they were told it would hap­pen soon”, he said. Mean­while, a former Boko Haram fe­male cap­tive, Zainab, who es­caped three months ago told our cor­re­spon­dent that she lived with three Chibok girls in a moun­tain com­mu­nity, Dut­sen Ibrahim, around Gwoza in Borno State, near the Cameroon bor­der.

“I met some of the Chibok girls in Sam­bisa, when I lived with my first Boko Haram hus­band in Sam­bisa. Af­ter my hus­band died in a bat­tle, I was mar­ried to an­other man, Nuru and we moved to Dut­sen Ibrahim, near Ngoshe. There I met three Chibok girls. One of them now bears the Mus­lim name, Zainab but I don’t know her Chris­tian name. The other one is Ya­gana,” she said.

When con­tacted, Col. Cle­ment Nwachukwu, the Me­dia Co­or­di­na­tor, Oper­a­tion Lafiya Dole, said he could not com­ment on the mat­ter as he had been out­side Maiduguri, his op­er­a­tional base and he was there­fore not aware of such de­vel­op­ment.

“I am in a noisy en­vi­ron­ment, I am cur­rently in Biu for an as­sign­ment, so I don’t have up­date on what is go­ing on there”, Col. Nwachukwu said.

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