The Nigerian military and security agencies failed to act on credible intelligence provided by foreign allies in 2014 following the abduction of 270 girls of the Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State, North East Nigeria by Boko Haram terrorist.
A senior military officer informed Global Sentinel that contrary to the claims that Nigeria received no foreign assistance, United States, United Kingdom and France among others provided useful information that could have aided in early release of the Chibok girls.
But for some unexplainable reasons, the source said, the military authorities ignored, trivialised or outright discarded the intelligence reported supplied by the foreign allies.
“At a point those foreign partners were wondering if we are serious people at all. They even brought the MoU we signed with them to indicate that they were only to provide useful and actionable intelligence that could help us to recover those girls. However, it was as if our superiors were expecting the foreigners to carry out the rescue mission,” the source said.
Upon further inquiries, another officer informed Global Sentinel that as at the time of the kidnap, the Nigerian Air Force had the equipment that could have quickly tracked the movement and whereabouts of the Chibok girls within days of their kidnap.
Speaking further the officer disclosed that the foreign allies were able to track down the location of the Chibok girls at a place they nicknamed “Tree of Life” and subsequently when the girls were dispersed into three groups and “were later brought back again”.
“Look, what the US and UK told us was that they are tracking and studying the lifestyle and pattern of Boko Haram, which could guide us in our subsequent operations. But it was like as if our military authorities were expecting more from them when the information provided was useful enough,” the source said.
According to the officer, after the foreign allies notified the location of the girls and Boko Haram near Yesdram River in Borno state, “they left after concluding that we were not serious”.
The Officer accused the leadership of Nigeria’s security and defence sector, especially the top military echelon of trying to prolong the counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations by deliberately ignoring intelligence reports.
On Sunday, the parents of the Chibok girls accused the Nigerian government of failing to fulfil their promise to rescue the remaining Chibok schoolgirls
They spoke at a rally organised by a non-governmental Organisation, ‘Al’amin Foundation for Peace and Development’, as part of activities to mark the fifth year anniversary of the abduction of over 270 school girls.
The Boko Haram terrorists had on April 14, 2014, abducted the 276 girls at Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Chibok in Borno but about 164 of them has been freed while 112 are still being held in captivity.
The sequence of freedom for the 164 girls showed that 57 managed to escape on the night of their kidnap while 107 were subsequently released.
In May 2016, one of the abducted girls, Amina Ali, was found after she escaped from captivity; another set of 21 girls were freed in October 2016, while one girl was also rescued in November same year by the military.
In the same vein, 82 girls were freed following negotiations with the government in May 2017, while one more was girl rescued in January 2018, making it a total of about 105 girls that have regained freedom with 165 others still unaccounted for.
But a renowned conflict reporter and freelance journalist, Ahmad Salkida, has claimed that most of the remaining girls may never return as some have either died, killed or now a core Jihadist.
Salkida who has provided useful information about the operations of Boko Haram terrorists in the past tweeted on Sunday, insisting that his assertion in 2018 about the fate of the girls are valid.
“Is there any credible information that rendered my April 14, 2018 report on the remaining #ChibokGirls inaccurate? Can anyone present me with any evidence aside the hasty ‘clarification’ Boko Haram made, via my micro blog, after I challenged stakeholders for full disclosure,” he said.