Senator Ahmed Zanna, representing Borno North has said that it would be difficult for Nigeria to get back all the girls abducted by the insurgents, saying the girls have not only been split by their abductors but ferried across border islands to neighboring countries.
Zanna, who represents Borno North in the Upper Chamber, while claiming that he was privy to information about the movement of the insurgents when they were abducted, told security agents that contrary to their belief that the abducted girls were in Sambisa forest with their abductors, they have since been split and ferried through Lake Chad to neighboring countries among which he said were Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
The senator who blamed the military for failure to rescue the girls before the development given that they got all immediate information about the movement of the insurgents from him, said he was informed by some people closed to the insurgents that the girls, after being split, were given out in marriage to some insurgents.
Follow ALL the stories on the Borno School Girls’ Abduction HERE.
He spoke during his contribution to a motion titled: Abduction of School Children in Chibok, Borno State, sponsored by the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba.
“I have been constantly in touch with the security agencies, telling them the developments, the movement of the girls from one place to the other and then the splitting of the girls and eventually the marriage of these girls by the insurgents.
“What bothers me most is that whenever I informed them where these girls were, after two to three days, they will be moved from that place to another and still, I will go back and inform them that see, this is what is happening.
“I lost hope two days ago when I found out that some of them were moved to Chad and Cameroon. Actually, some of them move through the Mandara Mountain that is in Gwoza and some of them are just a stone throw from their barracks, even now as I am talking to you, some of them are in Kolofata, which is in Cameroon but about 15 kilometres or even less to the borders.
“One of the insurgents called somebody in Bama and said I just got married and said I am now settling in Kolofata and then three or four days ago, some Fulani men reported that they saw some girls being taken by boats into the island in Lake Chad and that some of them happened to be between Marte and Mungonu.
Insurgents moving out of Sambisa forest
“What is most disturbing is that hitherto, Sambisa was their base and is well known to the military and Nigerian security. After the abduction of those girls, they have started moving out of that Sambisa and even before then I have been discussing with the military and they said they were going to attack that place, about 15 or 20 days ago, I don’t know what delayed them. But eventually when they launched the attack, all the insurgents had already gone out of the place. So, I don’t know what is happening,” he said.
He insisted that it would not be possible to get the girls in their number, saying if at all they will be seen, it will be in trickle just as he said the military caused the degeneration of the ugly development.
“When we talk, they (the military) will say we are against them, we are exposing them, we have demoralizing their troops. These are the facts. So unless there is spirit of seriousness on the part of our military, we have no hope of getting those girls. Even if we are going to get them, we are going to get them in trickles, maybe getting two, three, four, and five. They are now scattered. So it is not possible for us to get 50, 60,100 in one particular position. This is the position as at today,” he said.
Senator Zanna said it was possible that some of the girls were still being held by their captors within some remote areas of the North East, given that there was information that some insurgents were settling in a remote area he called Chikungudua.
“Maybe, those ones might still be within Nigeria but that is the current and new base of the insurgents, they just took over that place less than a week and that village is called Chikungudua, the place is the constituency of Senator Maina Marji.
“But I informed the security agents about the situation and from that place, they can just go into the Lake and go to either Chad or Cameroon because it is very open, there are no weeds in the lake and so they can go to anywhere,” he added.
Zanna, while condemning the act, called on everybody to rally round government by providing necessary information that can lead to the curbing of insurgency in the country.
“I rise to adopt this motion passionately based on the ages of the girls that were involved and the human lives that have suffered as a result of this unfortunate development. Since the beginning of this saga, I kept mute on this issue as far as press releases and press interviews were concerned.”
He said the insurgents have taken over the island bordering the country and driven away all inhabitants of the area just as he said the boats being used by the local in the area have been seized including that belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation, NNPC which is meant for surveillance in the area.
“They have snatched all the boats around that area including the one for NNPC and so they are free to go anywhere without being chased by anybody. There are about 40 islands there and they have ejected most of the occupants and they have occupied the islands.”
Senator Zanna said there was a near Lake Chad where the insurgents always camp during raining season, saying with the coming of the rain now, they have started moving into the place.
“Even before the abduction, I even told them (military) about the shrubs in northern Borno where they stayed last year till after the rainy season. Since rainy season is approaching, I told them that these people will leave Sambisa and other areas and go to that shrub but it seems there is no much presence of military around that area up till.”