The federal government yesterday said it had opened investigation into the claim of Chibok origin by a 15-year-old would be suicide bomber who was arrested in Cameroon, on Friday.
The girl, after her arrest, had told authorities in Cameroon that she was one of the girls abducted from Chibok, Borno State in April 2014.
Doubts however crept into her claim, following new information from Cameroon that the two girls arrested were aged about ten years. One of the two was also believed to be heavily drugged and therefore not in full control of her senses.
The federal government in a statement yesterday disclosed that the Minister of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Alhassan and the Nigerian High commissioner in Cameroon, Ambassador Hadiza Zakari Mustapha, had already swung into action and were receiving a lot of cooperation from the Cameroonian authorities.
The government also said that as part of investigation into the claim, it was arranging to send some members of the Chibok community to neighbouring Cameroon, to verify the claim.
Senior special assistant on media and publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, in the statement he signed, said the Nigerian high commissioner had confirmed that the arrested girls may be brought to the Capital, Yaoundé by Monday, at which point the High Commission would seek permission to meet with them.
The Murtala Mohammed Foundation had offered to cooperate with the Nigerian government in sponsoring two parents from Chibok who have been 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.
Also, likely parents to one of the missing 219 Chibok school girls whose daughter’s age, 15, matches that of the suspected suicide bomber intercepted by Cameroonian forces on Friday, said they were worried about the ensuing silence trailing the arrest of the girl in question.
Some of the relatives of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls said the quoted age of the girl matched that of one of the girls, named Dorcas Yakubu, who was only 14 years when she was abducted alongside 270 others.
“She was the youngest of them all”, said a community leader in Chibok who was not comfortable to be quoted in this report, because he didn’t want to offend the sensibility of the girl’s family.
“If the girl was said to be about 15 years of age and she confessed to have come from Chibok, then that matches the description and age of Dorcas Yakubu, who was about 14 years old when they were abducted on the 14th of April 2014.
“What we want now, if the authorities in Cameroon should help us, is that the girl in question is a victim of the crime she was sent out to commit before she was arrested. We also want to assist them with information from our own side if they could allow us have more details about the girl in their custody,” he said.
It was gathered that the two parents of the girl in question are civil servants currently working in Abuja.
Mass killing, abduction to end soon
President Muhammadu Buhari in his Easter message yesterday, pledged to end mass killings, abduction and other crimes committed against Nigerians in the country.
The President said his administration would persist in its pursuit of peace and security in the country.
He said the security agencies would be equipped to end politically motivated conflicts and other crises affecting the growth of the nation.
The president also disclosed that his government was equipping security agencies and revamping their operational capacities to win the war against terrorism and other criminal activities.
Buhari, who regretted that recent religious, political and purely criminal acts, led to the shedding of the blood of men, women and children, said, “my administration is determined to achieve peace and security across our nation by ending the avoidable conflicts and crises that hinder our national progress.
“I ask for the support of all Nigerians in this regard. We must put a stop to politically motivated killings. Our communities must be made safe again for all inhabitants to live together in peace and harmony. Our armed forces, police and other security agencies are being progressively reformed, repositioned and empowered to win the war against terrorism and make mass killings, abductions and other criminal atrocities things of the past in our beloved country.
“Let us all also play our parts as patriotic citizens and do all that we can to ensure that we make Nigeria a safer, more peaceful and happier place for its people and others,” he said.
President Buhari rejoiced with Nigerians, especially Christians celebrating Easter and encouraged them to imbibe the essential message of Jesus Christ who repeatedly urged his disciples and followers to “love one another as I have loved you.”
“As we celebrate Easter this year, I sincerely believe that it will serve our dear nation very well if we all imbibe this essential message of Jesus Christ and truly learn to love our countrymen and women as we love ourselves.
“Indeed, we will surely make faster progress towards the achievement of the peaceful, united, strong, progressive and prosperous country we all desire if, as a nation, we eschew all divisive, parochial, ethnic and religious sentiments and rivalries, and begin to live more harmoniously with our compatriots, as Jesus Christ and the founders of the world’s other great religions enjoined mankind,” the president said.
He further stated that faith, belief and the fulfilment of expectations are also key themes of the Easter celebration and urged Nigerians to continue to have faith in the future greatness of the nation and believe that the change his administration promised would surely come to fruition.
“That change, which we all yearn for, will certainly occur more rapidly if we all place the love of our country above selfish personal and group interests,” he added.
Buhari reassured Nigerians that his administration would ensure that the 2016 budget recently passed by the National Assembly would be efficiently and successfully implemented to achieve the objective of faster economic growth and development.
While thanking Nigerians for their patience and understanding in the first 10 months of his administration, Buhari assured that the Federal Government would continue to work “very hard to overcome the challenges he encountered on assumption of office.”
“We are moving on with an unshaken resolve and determination to deliver on the mandate you gave us on March 28, last year.
“I wish you all happy Easter celebrations.”