Governor Kashim Shettima on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 revealed that the schoolgirls abducted from Government Secondary School in Chibok area of Borno State by Boko Haram suspcts were likely living in an under ground bunker constructed by the insurgents.
Governor Shettima made the remarks in Abuja while presenting a paper at a post election conference organized by a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Savanna Centre, which was established by former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.
Shettima, who was represented at the event by the Secretary of the Borno Elders Forum, Bulama Mala Gubio, said the terrorists were able to build the bunkers since they operated unchallenged in such a vast area of land.
He said: “We are suspecting that Chibok girls are living with the insurgents in bunkers, I think the military must carry out their operations beyond the surface earth. They (Boko Haram) were also known to have dug tunnels to enable them move from house to house. So, having been left unchallenged for such a long time, such possibility cannot be ruled out which poses serious obstacles within the forest.
“The insurgents used their bases in the Sambisa Forest to launch deadly attacks and make quick retreat to their base which enabled them capture and take over control of all the local government areas bordering Nigeria with Cameroon, Chad and Niger, thus effectively cutting off the three neighbouring countries thereby declaring what they assumed was their independent territory (caliphate).
“Unless and only if the Sambisa Forest is effectively recovered from the terrorists shall we think of defeating the Boko Haram and begin to embark on a holistic approach for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the North East. In fact, at several stages the Borno State Government had intervened to reconstruct destroyed schools, health centres, homes, markets and so on, only for the insurgents to attack and destroy them again.”