Nigeria sends Chibok parents to Cameroon over claims by arrested female suicide bomber

Some parents of the abducted girls discuss on what to present to the visiting presidential panel at GSS Chibok
Some parents of the abducted girls discuss on what to present to the visiting presidential panel at GSS Chibok

The Federal Government is to send some members of the Chibok community to neighbouring Cameroon, to verify whether a female suicide bomber arrested on Friday, is one of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.

This information is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The statement said already the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, and the Nigerian high commissioner in Cameroon had swung into action and were receiving a lot of cooperation from the Cameroonian authorities.

“It has been confirmed that one of two girls is claiming to be among the girls stolen from Chibok on April 14, last year, although doubts have creeped into the claim following new information from Cameroon that the two girls are aged about 10 years,’’ it stated.

According to the statement, one of the two is also believed to be heavily drugged and therefore not in full control of her senses.

It said that the Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Cameroon, Hadiza Mustapha, confirmed that the arrested girls might be brought to the Cameroonian capital, Younde, by Monday, at which point the High Commission would seek permission to meet with them.

The statement said that the Murtala Mohammed Foundation had offered to cooperate with federal government in sponsoring two parents from Chibok, who were selected to embark on the trip to Cameroon.

“The two are Yakubu Nkeki, Chairman of the Parents of the Abducted Girls from Chibok association, and Yana Galang, the group’s women leader.

“The Nigerian High Commission will receive the two and will facilitate their access to the two girls once permission to meet and verify their identity is obtained from the Cameroonian authorities,’’ the statement added.

About 250 Chibok schoolgirls were reported to have been abducted by members of the Boko Haram terror sect at the Chibok Government Secondary School in Borno about two years ago.

About 51 of the affected schoolgirls were also reported to have escaped from their abductors, who were transporting them to unknown destinations, on the fateful day of their abduction.

Meanwhile, reacting to the arrest of the arrested girl in Cameroon, the BringBackOurGirls movement urged the government to “adopt and utilise our citizens-developed tool the Verification, Authentication, and Reunification System (VARS) designed by our movement for such scenarios as these.

“This tool was accepted by the federal government on 8 July 2015 during our meeting with the president, but has not been deployed.

“Likewise, the Missing Persons Register which would have been useful in tracking this young victim in order to commence her rehabilitation, reunification, and reintegration process with her family and community.”

In a joint statement by three of its leaders, Aisha Yesufu, Oby Ezekwesili and Hadiza Bala Usman, the group said,

“We received news yesterday Friday 25 March, of an arrested girl-child suicide bomber in Cameroon who identified herself as one of our abducted Chibok girls.

“We are presently unable to respond to this news conclusively until we have facts from the Nigerian government; from whom we requested and have eagerly been awaiting official information on the matter.

In the interim however, our thoughts are as follows:

i. The claim by the young woman that she is a Chibok girl should reawaken the Nigerian government to the zeal and commitment necessary for ensuring that they are rescued and brought back;

ii. This development suggests that we now have a possible source of credible intelligence as to what transpired, where the others are, and other leads required to facilitate their rescue.

2. Regardless of whether she is one of our Chibok girls or not, our thoughts and sentiments remain the same:

i. using children, girls who should be in school (or any humans at all) as suicide bombers is not only tragic and cruel, it is completely reprehensible and we denounce it;

ii. these children suicide bomber are themselves victims, and must be seen and treated as such;

iii. we all must hasten to free all those in captivity. For as long as they are with the monsters, we all are ourselves unsafe and equally in captivity;

iv. a few weeks ago, a girl suicide bomber did not detonate her device at an IDP camp because she knew her family was most likely in that camp, and she could not kill them.

It is important to send out messages that counter the programming of the terrorists. This may help in empowering these victims from detonating the explosives and accessing help;

v. this particular experience highlights the importance of building not only a regional coalition among neighbouring countries to counter terror, but a global one.

3. The Nigerian government as a matter of urgency, needs to swiftly act to ascertain the facts of this matter and make them public. It is getting to 24 hours since the news broke.

We need to know her name and identity, her parents’ names, where she is from, possibly extract DNA samples for quick testing and matching, etc.

4. This should be a wakeup call to the Nigerian government to adopt and utilise our citizens-developed tool the Verification, Authentication, and Reunification System (VARS) designed by our movement for such scenarios as these. This tool was accepted by the federal government on 8 July 2015 during our meeting with the president, but has not been deployed.

Likewise, the Missing Persons Register which would have been useful in tracking this young victim in order to commence her rehabilitation, reunification, and reintegration process with her family and community.

We are eagerly awaiting.

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  • Rommel

    This thing is beginning now to complicate things for me,if the girl said she is among them,what is more simple than her giving us her particulars for them to verify or don’t they have their details? what is the meaning of sending parents to Cameroon,to go do what?

    • Julius

      You took the word out of my mouth. This is how we waste money and I bet you some people will make money out of this nonsense. Why dont they simply bring the girls to Nigeria and do the verification under the protection of the government ?

      • ukoette ibekwe

        Not only that shouldn’t this be treated as a classified case to protect the identities of those involved until the validity of the girls confession or disclosure is ascertained. Is this not an extremely serious security issue, why are the authorities treating it with such laxity.

  • S. A. Maigari

    That’s right, Rommel. Why not bring the girl home, after all she’s a Nigerian and will have to return home sooner or later. One thing I also agree with is that the girls are themselves victims; the heavily drugged girl couldn’t have known what she was doing.

    • ceweeco projects

      Why should she be brought back home so soon? when the fathers and mothers from that part of the “world” prefers to lead their cows, sheep’s goats etc to graze and bring them safely back home, then neglect their own flesh and blood not minding where they go, what they do and sleep. These twerps called parents keep on producing babies as if they are in a competition with some persons. They just have to remain in a sane place for now-jo.

    • Rumournaire

      Better still, they could easily have circulated a photograph of the girl among the parents. Why on earth would scores of parents have to travel to Cameroon just to identify one girl? Ridiculous!

  • datti a concerned nigerian

    Ceweeco projects, you are an apology ! ! ! You are heartless ! ! ! What we are talking about here are innocent kidnapped children inrespective of their place of Origin, ethnic , religious beliefs , or how they came to this good world which people like you have made it merciless . You are worst than the same parents you are accusing of giving birth to these innocent children. The cows you claimed the parents of these girls are rearing are 100% easier managed than people like you who are not fit to live world .


    Fulani herdsmen’s killing and destruction of life and properties are back under Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani himself. Not only do these savages rape and kill women, they also kill babies, set villages after villages ablaze, they attack the law enforcement agents, who respond to the calls since the Nigerian Army under the command of Buhari gives them covering. No one is ever prosecuted. The National Assembly cowers and hides and hopes the terror and intimidation of Nigerians by this brutes will grow tired and stop. When, in fact, the opposite happens.

    • Onike24

      The real corruption in Nigeria is the fact that we run this space as a country. Even more corruption is the fact that someone like Buhari is president of Nigeria. Can you imagine? How? What are or is his record of performance anywhere? What did he do or achieve for 31 yrs after he was sent packing from power – a position he got to through an act of treason – A coup?

      Now one who once committed a treasonable offense for which death penalty would have been his fate were he caught, is now saying he is in charge. Honestly I dont understand this our Nigeria anymore.

  • SAM .A

    3rd World approach to information and science ,our people since 1966 , refused to used their brain and asset.In a civilized world her DNA would have merged with her biological parents , and proceed with other necessity. Nigeria will be dancing round it in the media.A very sad situation.

  • 9ja deserves better dan Buhari

    When he heard the news that Buhari has disassociated himself from the ‪#‎iStandWithBuhari‬, the Ibadan based man, Suleiman Hashimu, who spent over 18 days to trek from Lagos to Abuja because of Buhari’s victory has tagged Buhari a fraud, a deceiver, a dummy, a thoughtless, greedy and incompetent ruler.

    Hashimu who was part of the central planning commitee of the #iStandWithBuhari was disappointed when the president rejected their proposal and turned his back against those who supported him with all their resources.

    In order to prove to Nigerians that Buhari no longer has the support of the masses, he has scheduled 1st April to trek back from Abuja to Lagos so as to dissociate himself from this promise and fail government.

    • Dan

      Buhari has no problem. It is Nigerians who have problem…
      You don’t expect him to do more than his brain can carry. I hear that Prof Jonathan is to blame for the failure to pass WAEC exams and Math in 1957…an exam that was held even before President Jonathan was born. BUT after sufficient chimney-like activities, Bola and sons, told Nigerians in West Germany that one can only get better with age…and the result is clear for even the blind to see – No power, no water, no money, no food, no security, no fuel, no peace, nothing. Nigeria is on reverse gear.

  • .Very Hard FACTS

    1. Is Buhari not the sponsor of Islamist terrorists – Boko Haram?
    2. Why is he and his gurbmint not prosecuting any terrorists reportedly captured?
    3. Why is it that the dead bodies of Islamist terrorists reported killed by Nigerian army are NEVER displayed on print and electronic media?
    4. Why are Islamist terrorists in Nigeria NEVER sentenced to death in Nigeria?
    5. Why will an Islamist terrorist (Kabiru Sokoto) who killed over 78 persons in multiple bomb blasts in Churches be sentenced to only 20 yrs in prison while a Pastor who is alleged to have killed less than 5 persons is sentenced to death by hanging?
    6. Why will Buhari condemn terrorist attacks in Belgium but remain silent over 300 Nigerians killed by Islamist Fulana terrorist herdsmen?
    7. Etc etc etc

    Dear Nigerians, what is really happening?

    • Onoja

      Very hard Facts indeed…And very hard questions too!

    • Sparzo

      1.No Buhari is the one fighting boko haram with all he can muster and more, and he is winning.
      2. Captured terrorists are all in prison. Some have been tried and some are awaiting trial.
      3. You would claim the photos are fake anyway as you claim with displayed weapon. Anyway why be morbid?
      4. Because people like Mujaheed Alhaji Asari Dokubo, Kanu, Henry Okah, Tompolo etc would be dead by now.
      5. Just like Henry Okah?
      6. He is awaiting the report of the commission. Like any good leader he hates ignorant based decisions.
      7. Is it true asd the Fulani herdsmen claim that over 300 of their herdsmen were killed were killed in over 2yrs.
      I doubt the PREMIUM TIMES can easily investigate this claims and confirm or disprove it. But are they interested?
      They also claimed the police were accomplices in cattle rustling. A thing the PT can easily investigate, but would not.
      8. In short that is what is really happening my main ipob egbesu man.

      • Peter_Edo

        bless you man!

      • Julius

        You do know that he is not about the truth and facts. Sometimes you just have to ignore folks like him. It aint worth your time.

  • .Very Hard FACTS

    Did you know that Muhamandu Buhar was once nominated by Boko haram islamic terrorists as its Chief negotiator?
    Did you know that Mohamandu Buhari once questioned the idea of killing terrorists and destruction of their property?
    Did you know that Mohamandu Buhari once stated that Sharia be spread to every corner of Nigeria?

    • Sparzo

      God forgive you for bearing false witness today
      that Christ has risen and will ascend to heaven.

  • habana

    Sending Chibok parents to Cameroon to see the girl who claims to be from Chibok school? All 200+ parents? Why not return the girl to Chibok, and all parents will have the chance to see and identify her. Or, worst case scenario, ask the girl her original name, and make that name known to the Chibok parents.

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