Nigeria Sends Chibok Representatives to Cameroon To Confirm Female Suicide Bomber Allegations
It was reported that one of the two female suicide bombers apprehended in Cameroon over the weekend, claims to have been among the 250 schoolgirls that were kidnapped from their dorm rooms in Chibok on April 14 2014.
There are conflicting reports regarding the ages of the girls but sources say that they seem to be at least 10 years of age or younger.
After the girls were taken into custody by the Cameroonian authorities, the Federal Government of Nigeria proceeded to select two representatives – closely associated with the Chibok tragedy to head to Cameroon in attempt to reach the girls and settle whether or not the claims can be verified.
A statement was also released over the weekend by Garba Shehu – the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari that confirmed the selection of Yakubu Nkeki, Chairman of the Parents of the Abducted Girls from Chibok Association and Yana Galang, who reps the women’s arm of the group.
The delegates will hopefully have the opportunity to meet with the girls after they are transferred and put in the care of Hadiza Mustapha – Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Cameroon – who has also been granted permission to speak with the girls.
Aisha Alhassan, the Minister of Women Affairs is already collaborating with the Nigerian High Commissioner to ensure that the matter is handled with utmost care considering the delicate nature of the issue and the fragile disposition of the girls.
The statement also contains disturbing details regarding the state of the girls after they were examined. The report indicates that there is reason to be believe that one of them may have been heavily drugged.
This all comes on the heels of the revolting discovery that Boko Haram – the terrorist group, that have systematically held the Northern region of Nigeria under siege since their reign of terror began back in 2009, has resorted to utilizing some of the girls they abducted for suicide missions.
The meeting between the two girls and the delegates under the mediation of the Nigerian High Commissioner and the Minister should help usher in much needed answers and possibly lead to lifesaving clues on behalf of the still missing girls.
In the meantime – the #BringBackOurGirls council addressed the breaking news by encouraging the federal government to implement the tool which was devised by the organization to aid in the thorough vetting of any information or persons claiming direct knowledge as it pertains to the whereabouts of the missing girls.
The Verification, Authentication and Reunification System (VARS) was constructed by the movement and presented to the federal government on July 8, 2015 and even though it was approved – it has yet to be initiated.
The movement expressed its frustration at the delay, “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.”
The three leaders of the group – that helped launch the global effort that is still in effect – Aisha Yesufu, Oby Ezekwesili and Hadiza Bala Usman released a joint statement reiterating the above sentiments and explaining their decision to cautiously monitor the ongoing process until concrete proof is provided:
“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.”
The tale of woe of the missing Chibok girl reached fever pitch once their fate became a worldwide event immediately after their abduction – as the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls became a trending phenomenon which retroactively put enormous pressure on then president Goodluck Jonathan – whose failure to adequately mobilize military resources in a timely manner and effectively thwart the destructive renderings of Boko Haram led to his imminent ouster while ushering in former head of state – Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari’s return to power was supposed to be the dawn of a new era for the crippled nation as the elder statesman pledged to put the safety of citizens high on his priority list by running Boko Haram out of business.
So, far that promise is still pending as the Jihadist group continues its massive grip in the war-torn North with no end in sight. The group that has been flourishing under the leadership of Abubakar Shekau has maintained it’s murderous presence in the key targeted territories of Northern Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
So far, Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 and displaced about 2.3 million victims from their homes and villages – and in 2015, the group topped the Global Terrorism Index list of the world’s deadliest terror group.