The Abu Musab al-Barnawi led faction of Boko Haram has exposed the many lies of the Nigerian Army over the abduction of some NNPC staff during an ambush of their convoy on Tuesday at the Lake Chad Basin.
The insurgents exposed the lies in a video obtained by SaharaReporters where three of the abducted NNPC staff were seen begging the authorities to negotiate with Boko Haram for their freedom.
Nigerian Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, a brigadier general, had in a statement on Wednesday announced the rescue of all the NNPC staff, saying only nine soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice in the process.
“So far, they (troops) have rescued all the NNPC staff and recovered the corpses of the officer, 8 soldiers and a civilian who have been deposited at the 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital,” he said.
But the following day (Thursday), the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, put a lie to the army statement by saying that he cannot confirm if the 10 abducted NNPC staff had been rescued.
The minister, who spoke to journalists at the NNPC Towers in Abuja on Thursday, said, “We only heard, but can’t confirm if anyone has been rescued.
To further discredit the army statement, forty-eight corpses of persons killed by the terrorists during the ambush were brought to the Maiduguri Teaching Hospital in the Borno State capital on Thursday.
Sources at the hospital and the Maimalari Army Barracks in Borno revealed that the corpses were brought into Maiduguri from the scene of the attack.
The corpses brought include 18 soldiers, 15 Civilian JTF, five university staff and four NNPC drivers.
In a photo and video obtained by SaharaReporters through a journalist with access to the two factions of Boko Haram, the abducted lecturers were seen looking terrified and seated barefoot in some unidentified indoor facility.
It is not clear whether the Islamist insurgents intend to make ransom demands in exchange for the release of their victims.
However, their decision to release the photo of those they abducted may suggest a desire to seek a negotiated settlement to free the captives and discredit the Nigerian Army.
Appealing for help, one of the abducted men, a lecturer at the University of Maiduguri said in the video: “They have promised us that if their demands were met, they will release us immediately to go back to the work we were doing.
“We were caught doing the work of exploration of acquiring gravity, magnetic and soil geochemistry for exploration in the Nigerian sector of the Chad Basin, which will boost the economy of the nation.
“We were caught in the line of our service. I want to call the attention of the acting president that we have seen the route we took up to this position where we are recording this video right now.
“I want to advise that the use of excessive force is not the solution.
“We want to call on the federal government to meet these demands as (they) promised to release us,”