Second Chibok girl Serah, pastor’s daughter, rescued
• New found girl, No.157 on missing girls list
• Buhari meets Amina, pledges best care
Two days after the rescue of the first girl, Amina Ali Darsha Nkeki, and her four-month-old baby, the Nigerian Army yesterday said it has rescued a second Chibokgirl, Miss Serah Luka.
In all, 217 girls remain missing after their abduction by the Boko Haram Islamist group from a Chibok, Borno State secondary school in April 2014.
Serah, believed to be the daughter of one Pastor Luka, is number 157 on the list of the abducted school girls.
Army spokesman, Col Sani Usman, said troops of 231 Battalion, 331 Artillery Regiment (AR), Detachment of Armed Forces Special Forces (AFSF) 2, Explosive Ordinance (EOD) Team and Civilian Vigilante group conducted clearance operations at Shettima Aboh, Hong and Biladdili general area in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State. He said the military killed 35 terrorists and rescued 97 women in the process.
The Army said the girl revealed during the debriefing that she was a JSS1 student of the school at the time they were abducted. She further added that she hails from Madagali, Adamawa State, saying that she reported at the school barely two months and one week before her unfortunate abduction along with other girls over two years ago.
Unconfirmed reports said 10 of the girls actually escaped from the Sambisa forest and three of them were found. A reliable source, however told The Guardian that “two of the three girls were half-conscious,” and that it was the ‘conscious girl’ that disclosed the fact that 10 of the Chibok girls escaped the Sambisa Forest.
According to a statement signed by Usman, “During the operations, the troops killed 35 Boko Haram terrorists and recovered several arms and ammunitions and other items. In addition, they rescued 97 women and children held captives by the Boko Haram terrorists.
“We are glad to state that among those rescued is a girl believed to be one of the Chibok Government Secondary School girls that were abducted on 14th April 2014 by the Boko Haram terrorists. Her name is Miss Serah Luka, who is number 157 on the list of the abducted school girls. She is believed to be the daughter of Pastor Luka..
“She added that there were other three girls who fled Shettima Aboh when the troops invaded the area earlier today (Thursday), which led to their rescue. She is presently receiving medical attention at the medical facility of Abogo Largema Cantonment, Biu, Borno State.”
In the same vein, the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) Movement has said it is “madly excited” at the rescue of Amina Ali, but insists that the Federal Government should secure her, ensure she returns to school and her baby well taken care of.
Its spokesman, Mr. Olawuni Olanrewaju, told The Guardian yesterday: “Our reaction is that we were madly excited when we got the news. For us as a movement, it was a validation of our struggle, of what we have been doing, of our humanity; it was a validation of all we have stood for, because we know it wasn’t easy.”
On the alleged husband, Olanrewaju disclosed that the BBOG Movement did not have a formal position, but advised that he should be treated with caution. He asked that he be thoroughly investigated to know the position he occupied to be rewarded with Amina Ali as wife.
“How did he become prominent enough to be given Amina, and what role has he played in the Boko Haram sect?” These, he said, are two questions to which answers should be found.
He added there was need for caution because a lot of persons involved in the sect were forcibly drafted, but added that he has to be properly investigated.
Meanwhile, at exactly 2:24 p.m. yesterday, the first rescued Chibok girl, Amina, was driven to the Presidential Villa, Abuja to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nkeki, who is one of the over 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in Chibok, Borno State in April 2014, was reportedly rescued in the Sambisa Forest, close to the border with Cameroun on Tuesday.
She was driven into the forecourt of the President’s office in an unmarked vehicle, amidst tight security. She was accompanied by her mother, a brother and another young lady carrying a child said to be the abducted girl’s baby.
Security operatives had hectic time controlling the deluge of cameramen and photographers, from both local and international media, struggling to take her pictures.
Nkeki was also accompanied to the Villa by the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettina, Defence Minister, Gen. Mansur Dan Ali (rtd), Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Tunde Olonishakin and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Mohammed Babagana Monguno (rtd).
The rescued Chibok schoolgirl was airlifted by Nigeria Air Force (NAF) with a Super Puma aircraft from Damboa to Maiduguri alongside her baby and supposed husband, Mohammed Hayatu on Tuesday.
Local journalists were, however, bared from covering the meeting between the President and the lady, while their foreign counterparts were invited to cover the meeting.
A statement from the president’s twitter handle quoted him as saying during the meeting: “Like all Nigerians and many others around the world, I am delighted at the news that Amina Ali Nkeki, one of the missing Chibok girls has regained her freedom. But my feelings are tinged with deep sadness at the horrors the young girl has had to go through at such an early stage in her life.
“Although we cannot do anything to reverse the horrors of her past, Federal Government can and will do everything possible to ensure that the rest of her life takes a completely different course. Amina will receive the best care that the Nigerian government can afford. We will ensure that she gets the best medical, psychological, emotional and whatever other care she requires
to make a full recovery and be reintegrated fully into society.
“Yesterday, medical personnel from government and non-governmental organisations examined her for a total of about five hours. Trauma experts from the UNICEF also met her. The Federal Government will assist the Murtala Muhammed Foundation, which has already been providing support to the families of the missing Chibok girls and which runs a trauma and counselling centre in Kano.
“Government will also be involved in ongoing work with Amina, monitoring her progress and highlighting any additional support she requires. The continuation of Amina’s education, so abruptly disrupted, will definitely be a priority of the Federal Government. Amina must be enabled to go back to school. No girl in Nigeria should be put through the brutality of forced marriage. Every girl has the right to an education and a life choice.
“Rest assured that this administration will continue to do all it can to rescue the remaining Chibok girls who are still in Boko Haram captivity. Amina’s rescue gives us new hope, and offers a unique opportunity for vital information. May Allah crown our efforts with success.”
In his speech before handing Nkeki to the President, Governor Shettima attributed the successes being recorded in the fight against Boko Haram to Buhari’s patience, perseverance doggedness and sense of purpose.
His words: “Your patience, persistence, perseverance, doggedness for the restoration of peace in the north east have started to yield dividend. We have to put things in proper perspective, one year ago nobody could venture out of Maiduguri beyond 15 kilometers, Maiduguri was on the verge of falling into the hands of demented monsters called Boko Haram. We were under siege until God in his infinite mercies intervened with your emergence as President.
“Boko Haram insurgents are now on the defensive and on the run. I am pleased to tell the whole world that not a single local government in Borno or in Yobe or Adamawa is under the control of the Boko Haram. They have been sufficiently degraded and now they have resorted to suicide bombing which is a sign of weakness.
“With happiness mixed with sadness, though 218 girls are not accounted for, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step and the recovery of Amina Ali is a sign of greater things to come as our gallant troops engage in the counter-insurgency operations especially in the Sambisa and the shores of the Lake Chad.”
In a brief interview with correspondents after the meeting, the governor said: “We believe that in the coming days and weeks, we shall recover the rest of the Chibok girls for the greater glory of our nation.”