Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday confirmed that another Chibok schoolgirl had been found, barely 12 days after the release of 82 by their Boko Haram captors.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina said the recovery of the girl was announced by the acting president during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
“Yes, at the Federal Executive Council’s meeting, the Vice President broke the cheering news to members of the cabinet and after that I have also spoken to Defence people who confirmed it.
“The details are yet to fully unravel. But in terms of if it is true, yes, it is true. I learnt she is already being brought to Abuja, but I have not seen her
The presidential aide expressed the hope that the remaining Chibok schoolgirls and other Nigerians in captivity would soon be rescued.
He dismissed the claim that members of the Boko Haram sect had started regrouping in the Sambisa Forest, saying that the Federal Government had the capacity to confront any security challenge arising from any part of the country.
”One thing you can be sure of is that this government has the capacity to confront any security challenge that arises.
“So, if they are regrouping they will be flushed out again.
“I believe that we have seen the worst of that insurgency. We are in a mopping up process and I believe the mop-up would be completed.’’
Also yesterday, the Army said it had arrested 126 suspected Boko Haram members at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Damboa, Borno State.
Outgoing Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole Major-Gen. Lucky Irabor told reporters in Maiduguri that the suspects were flushed out during mop-up operations.
He said the mop-up was conducted after the Boko Haram terrorists stormed Sabon Gari in Damboa Local Government.
Gen.Irabor said: “During the attack, we lost about six soldiers and equipment; some of our soldiers were also wounded.
“After the unfortunate incident, a joint operation was carried out by 3 and 125 Task Force Brigade of the army.
“Based on intelligence report available, we learnt there was an attempt by Boko Haram to attack Damboa town and many of the insurgents had infiltrated the IDPs camp in Damboa.
“We also had an intelligence report that many of those insurgents that participated in the attack on Sabon Gari had infiltrated the IDPs camp.
“During the raid on the camp, one of the terrorists in particular was identified to have taken part in the Sabon Gari attack.
When we searched him, we found a wallet on him containing the Identity card of one of the soldiers that was killed during the attack.
“So, in essence, that gave the purpose for further operations that our troops of 125 Brigade and the Civilian JTF rounded up about 126 of the terrorists in the camp.
“As you all know that peace has started returning to the areas, but we realise that the Boko Haram terrorists were hiding under law abiding citizens to continue to cause havoc.
“The operation is a continuous one, even though the arrest had elicited reactions from some NGOs working in the camp, also the IDPs, who viewed what we are doing differently.”
He went on: “This was what really happened. Though yesterday, there was an incident in Konduga where three suicide bombers detonated their explosives, killing themselves and wounding some locals.
“Also, we had a case where some of our troops on patrol in Dikwa ran into an Improvised Explosive Device, where two soldiers were wounded, but they are getting better in the hospital.
“In Damasak also, we suspected Boko Haram movement looking for logistics and food, we laid ambush and killed four of them and recovered a Hilux truck, weapons, fish and rice.
“It will also interest you to note that our Naval component of the operation has been very active in Lake Chad.
“We are currently strengthening out platforms on that axis toward ensuring that we go deeper in our operations to fish out other Boko Haram terrorists in the area.”
“Looking back into our operations in the last 14 months that I took over as the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, much has been achieved,” Gen. Irabor said.
He has been transferred by the army to head the Multi Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in Njadmena, Chad Republic.
The Army also yesterday said it had rescued 30,000 women and children held by Boko Haram in Sambisa Forest in the last 14 months.
Brig.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, the outgoing Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, made this known at the handover ceremony in Maiduguri.
Gen. Ezegwu attributed the successes recorded so far in the fight against insurgency in the North-East to doggedness, hardwork and determination of troops in the frontline.
“Success recorded so far is as a result of collective efforts of all of you here.
“I cannot take this glory alone because I could not have achieved anything without your support and encouragement,” he said.
Gen. Ezugwu has been replaced by Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Yusuf after serving for 18 months.