The Nigerian Army has described effort to release kidnapped Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, as risky and complex, saying Boko Haram terrorists could kill her if they are aware of their plan to rescue her and other victims.
Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, acting director, defence information, said this on Monday, 24 hours after Christian leaders in the north asked President Muhammadu Buhari to secure the girl’s release as a Christmas gift to them.
But Uwachukwu, while addressing journalists on the Defence Headquarters’ Coordinated Joint Operations, stated that the rescue operation has lingered because troops are cautious not to put the lives of the victims, including Sharibu in danger.
He said troops of Operation Lafiya Dole are working tirelessly to ensure that Sharibu and other persons in the captivity of the terrorists were rescued alive.
“Troops of operation lafiya Dole troops have been treading cautiously because these people are all in the hands of the terrorists and any reckless move may result in their annihilation by the terrorists just to ward off the troops, it is a very complex and risky operation but the troops are working day and night to ensure that they are rescued,” he said.
The defence spokesperson also countered claim by the Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, that the insurgents are occupying two Local Government Areas in the state.
He insisted that boko haram has been decimated and forced into the Tombus Island on the fringes of the Lake Chad, from where it launches feeble attacks on soft targets.
“Book Haram is not occupying any part of this country, I want to make it clear that Boko Haram and ISWAP have been defeated and pushed into what we call the Tumbus, the Tumbus are the islands between Nigeria and neighboring countries of Niger and Lake Chad where they have their enclave and from where they come out and carry out attacks on soft targets, Boko Haram is not holding any inch of the country,” he added.