Shortlived excitement over Chibok girls’ ‘release’

There was excitement in the land yesterday when the news broke that the abducted Chibok schoolgirls had been released by Boko Haram.

But it all turned out to be a hoax.

The girls seen by Maiduguri residents were the 30, who had earlier escaped from captivity. They were being taken by buses to school in Kaduna, it emerged later.

The Defence Headquarters said yesterday that the girls had not been released.

The Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, said: “The story circulating in respect of the release of the Chibok girls is not true.

“The buses that drove into the barracks were conveying other individuals.”

The Director of Publicity, Kibaku Area Development Association, Dr. Manasseh Allen, said: “I have called them back at home and so far, I have not been able to confirm the release of any of the girls as far as I am concerned.

“ Yesterday, there was an intersection in Biu, some Chibok girls were found in Biu in the company of a man.

“They were intercepted by the civilian JTF and military in Biu. When they were stopped, he informed them that he had been instructed by the Borno State government to bring the girls  to Maiduguri for the commencement of their education.

“The authorities wanted to be sure that the orders had actually come from the state government,  so some calls were made and it was confirmed that he had actually been instructed to bring them so that they can begin school.

“They were part of the girls that escaped. As far as I am concerned, no new girl has been released by the Boko Haram or the government.

“We are still waiting for them to bring back our girls and not for them to continue to dash our hopes.”