News / Africa

Nigeria Retracts Statement About Kidnapped Girls

FILE-  Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade, Nigeria's top military spokesman in Abuja.
FILE- Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade, Nigeria's top military spokesman in Abuja.
Anne Look
— The Nigerian military has retracted its claim that nearly all of the more than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped this week by suspected Boko Haram militants had been released. Nearly a hundred are still believed to be missing.

The principal of the Government Girls secondary school in Chibok, Asabe Kwanbura, said that 32 of the kidnapped girls have escaped. That's up from a reported 20 girls on Thursday.

"Some jumped down [from] inside the lorry. Some escaped [from] within the camp," said Kwanbura.

The state education commissioner confirmed the figure, saying those 32 girls were safe and accounted for Friday.

A total of 129 girls are thought to have been at the school when armed men arrived early Tuesday to take them away in trucks. The girls were only there to sit for final exams as their school was among those closed in the northeast in March for security reasons.  

Defense Headquarters had released a statement Wednesday saying that all but eight of the kidnapped girls were free, something relatives of the girls and school authorities said was a lie. Most of the girls are still missing.

The defense ministry spokesman issued a correction late Thursday saying that his initial statement was based on faulty information and "was not intended to deceive."

But the fumble is a further blow to the military's credibility as it faces mounting criticism for its handling of the insurgency in the northeast.

Borno state education commissioner, Musa Inuwo Kubo, says in an interview with VOA that the false report of the girls' release has only heightened their parents' "impatience and apprehension."

"When you come to the town, you see all parents are in a mourning mood. Everybody is sad, sad in the sense that there was a glimpse of hope when it was announced that they've secured the release and up to now they cannot see the children," said Kubo.

Local vigilante groups and hunters have set out on what Defense Headquarters says is a "frantic" search for the girls in the dangerous forests near the Cameroonian border where the girls are believed to be held. The military is also looking.

No one has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, though many are pointing to the militant Islamist sect, Boko Haram, which has attacked other schools in the northeast. The group has also reportedly been abducting girls and young women to serve as spies, cooks and servants.

Boko Haram has killed thousands in northern Nigeria since 2009. The group says it wants to impose a harsh form of Islamic law, which would include banning all forms of Western education.

The kidnapping was one of three attacks this week attributed to Boko Haram, including a bombing in the capital, Abuja.

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Barr. George Otelemaba from: Port Harcourt.
April 21, 2014 12:40 AM
I feel very sad that till now the leadership of this country, with all her military and intelligence apparatus cannot locate and free these missing innocent school girls. Rather, local hunters and herdsmen are now used to find them. Its a shame. This is not proper. There is no intelligence report as to even the group that is holding these children, where and why, the military is going back and forth with unreliable statements and the political leaders are busy consolidating their grip on Power. I weep!


by: julius from: nigeria
April 20, 2014 5:00 AM
I want to use this medium to appeal to the United States government and the world powers to pls come to the aid of Nigeria and Nigerians as it is very obvious that the Nigerian leaders and the military has failed in this war. Pls am begging, let it not to result to greater loss of lives before coming to our aid. Pls take this serious.

In Response

by: Tangoguy from: Canada
April 20, 2014 3:01 PM
Unless oil is discovered in Nigeria, don't expect any help from the U.S.


by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
April 18, 2014 10:53 PM
It's indisputably known fact that Boko Haram has successfully infiltrated Nigerian military police, security apparatus and three main branches of the federal government. The defense ministry's released false statement was deliberate and purposely served BH to give them sufficient protection from being caught with kidnapped girls.
The unfortunate girls will obviously be treated as sex slaves and suicide missions.
It's ironic that BH's sister organisation, Al-Shabaab, lost many ground and forced to hide into small pockets in the countryside while Boko Haram gained momentum by killing and bombing numerous innocent civilians, thanks to Nigerian government.


by: Not Again from: Canada
April 18, 2014 5:05 PM
Sad and horrendous situation for the missing girls, their parents, relatives and friends; beyond it, it reflects poorly on humanity. Unfortunately, and not just in Africa, we are observing an ever increasing number of conflicts, greater instability, greater number of massive grave human rights violations, and a struggle for security.
We are also observing an ever number of so called "leaders' that exist in an abstract environment, showing very little emphaty for their own people; and increasingly more inept or outright uncaring for their own failures. Essentially we are observing increasing numbers of unaccountable/ outright deceptive leaders, supported by self promoting elites.
This grave human rights situation will just continue to increase the level of global instability and conflict. In addition, it will continue to reduce the number of democracies on the planet. No good can come of an increase in the number of inept, unaccountable, and uncaring authoritarian regimes.


by: Muana Kasongo from: DRC
April 18, 2014 4:57 PM
The nigerian government has to take its responsability to retake control of this part of the country. The encreasing number of kidnapping and killing gives a proof that, if not controlled, nothern Nigeria would become a threat for the african continent.


by: ali baba from: new york
April 18, 2014 4:02 PM
The Nigerian Gov. . has a very poor intelligent information. these information can be used to plan an effective strategy that could eliminate Boko Haram. Boko harm has a free ride .the army has no clue to get ride of Boko haram. they kill hundred thousand of innocent people. Still the army has not react significantly and decisively .The Muslim terrorist organization and well connected and they heavily finance by rich Arab countries and politician in Us believe that Islam is peaceful religion and forget the fact that terrorist activities spread at so many countries and pose serious threat in many countries such as Syria, Libya, Egypt ,Afghanistan , Mali , Nigeria and US and European countries


by: Lafayette Moore from: New Jersey
April 18, 2014 3:28 PM
The people must up against anything that is not demoncratic and coercive


by: SH from: USA
April 18, 2014 12:51 PM
Angrily I say: "The roaming armies of youthful and undisciplined war babies need to make more war babies." I think militant youth culture is nurtured by a slaver mindshare and network. Caches and communications and cells. And I think THAT is why Africa has some really deep issues with building cohesive pockets of social infrastructure.

In Response

by: bs from: usa
April 19, 2014 9:47 PM
Africa is a continent, not a country, and many of its countries have some really deep issues because of non-Africans. Starting with: Allowing non-African media to make up a new geographical location for "light skinned" AFRICAN countries. The Middle East.


by: Embarrassed Deltan from: Houston
April 18, 2014 11:04 AM
What sort of nonsense, people live in a country where their basic freedom is no longer gauranteed. How will the families, friends, and most importantly the victims (mostly teenage girls) overcome this incident...It will stay in their hearts forever. I wonder what those girls are going through right now in the midst of those dirty/barbaric militants....and the Government does not even bother much...afterall it will never happen to them nor anyone closely related.......or so they think...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid