Reports that a number of the 300 plus schoolgirls that were abducted en-mass by Boko Haram in April had recently escaped their captivity have since been determined false. Confusion regarding the transport of a number of girls who had escaped shortly after their abduction to the Borno State capital of Maiduguri lead to reports stating a group of those being held captive had been set free. Tragically, a reported 219 school-aged girls, more than 90% of whom have been identified as Christian, remain under the armed watch of their Islamic captors, facing domestic and sexual enslavement, harassment, and, reportedly, forced conscription as suicide bombers.
09/24/2014 Nigeria (THISDAY) – There was a mixture of excitement and uncertainty yesterday when news filtered into Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, that some of the female students who were abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok five months ago by Boko Haram had been released.
However, investigations showed that the information on the schoolgirls was misplaced and had gained traction when some Chibok girls who had escaped from their captors several months ago were conveyed by the Borno State Government in two buses to Maimalari barracks in Maiduguri.
This was compounded when DHQ spokesman, Major-General Chris Olukolade, erroneously informed several media houses (including THISDAY) that the girls sighted at the barracks had just regained their freedom from their abductors.
This was the second time in five months Olukolade had issued a wrong statement on the fate of the Chibok girls. Two days after their abduction on April 14, he had told the whole world that 107 girls had been freed by the military. The statement turned out to be false.