The Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen. Leo Irabor, yesterday alleged that the abducted Chibok girls were being held in Sambisa as well as a location close to the Chad-Niger border.
Irabor in a CNN report on the ongoing counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations by the Nigerian military said military intelligence indicates that the abducted girls were still held in the Sambisa forest, which is the remaining stronghold of the terrorists.
Recall that over 200 school girls were in 2014 abducted by the Boko Haram sect in Chibok, Borno State.
The disclosure confirms the military’s earlier stance that there is the possibility that most of the girls are still alive.
According to Irabor, the intelligence surrounding the current location of the Chibok girls points to the Sambisa corridor, adding that there is need for more international support.
He said, “The question of the Chibok girls remains a sore point in our history. The biometrics as it were of the Chibok girls are not known to us. Those are the issues which I believe are among the challenges.
“We think, from the intelligence available to us, that the remaining areas that we are working to move into, that are where we are hoping to be able to rescue the Chibok girls.”
He stated that following the trail on the missing girls, the sect have now divided the girls into clusters so as not to attract unwanted attention.
The Commander maintained that while his forces advance in the Sambisa Forest, they are also running down other leads on the whereabouts of the Chibok girls.
“It’s a belief, but beyond that, we’re also getting some intelligence that they maybe somewhere on the Niger-Lake Chad border areas,” he said.
The Commander further assured that the military was working assiduously to ensure the rescue and safe return of the girls back to their families.
“We are working assiduously so that all of them are rescued and brought back to live in their communities.
“I think that the light is beginning to shine and in a short while we’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Irabor said.