by Adeola Balogun
The news of the school girls kidnapped from Borno by Boko Haram continues to rock the nation as most of them remain in the custody of the deadly Islamic terrorist sect.
The exact number of the missing girls is yet to be determined as the government has said that 182 girls went missing and that 44 of them have escaped but parents are insisting that 234 girls were abducted and only 39 of them have returned home.
According to Hamsatu Allamin, the Regional Coordinator of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme, the students who got out of the Boko Haram camp escaped, not rescued my military forces as widely reported by certain segments of the media.
Allamin who is an authority on insurgent issues in the North East narrated how some of the girls made their way out of the Boko Haram camp saying, “According to the girls, when they reached the camp, they were given food to cook and serve themselves. They said the trays they were given were dirty, hence they went out to break the tree leaves with which to clean the trays. In the process, four of them managed to escape.”
“Authorities gave the number of girls who found their ways to safety as 44, while the number of missing put at 182. This was confirmed by the principal of the school (whose voice was captured by BBC Hausa), who said that none of the girls recovered so far were rescued by anybody, but sneaked on their own whenever they saw an opportunity,” she said.
Meanwhile Senator Ali Ndume, who represents Borno South, has lamented the incapacity of the military in the face of the current situation and said it is even shameful that the Defence Headquarters could issue unverified statements where human lives are concerned, adding to the trauma and anxieties parents were going through.
All efforts by parents of the missing girls to form a search party in order to effect their release have proved abortive with reports saying they have been threatened by members of the Boko Haram sect to stop the search or be killed.
Hundreds of secondary schoolgirls were abducted by gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect on April 15 and conveyed to their camp ostensibly to serve as helps and worse still, sex slaves.
Stakeholders including the former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari have called for renewed efforts at fighting terrorism with a view to stemming the tide of abduction, bombing and untold violence visited on many states in northern Nigeria by Islamic militants.