The Defence Headquarters has explained that the inability of the military to rescue lecturers, oil workers and women in Boko Haram enclave was because the terrorists were using the distraught captives as human shield.
It said the military cannot apply full force to free the captives because doing so would endanger their lives. Recall that ten women among them female police personnel were on June 21, abducted in a raid by the militant group on a military/police convoy along Damboa Road,in Borno State. They were abducted after Boko Haram fighters reportedly attacked a convoy of security personnel in the Damboa area of Borno State when the officers were said to be going to a burial in Adamawa State. On the other hand, some staff of the University of Maiduguri, who were part of the oil exploration team in the state were ambushed by Boko Haram on Tuesday,July 25.
But the Defence Headquarters, speaking through its spokesman, John Enenche,a Major General, following Vanguard’s enquiry, on the development, assured that the distraught captives would soon be freed like some Chibok school girls. Enenche insisted that the military was applying a lot of caution in its rescue efforts so as not to jeopardize the lives of those being held by the terrorists. He frowned at those with the view that the entire area where the terrorists are holding the captives be bombed, asking what would be the achievement in carrying out such action. “So, that is why a lot of caution is always exercised even if you have a footage, even if you have real time evidence that these people are there.
Once they are being used as human shield,then you need to be very careful on the rescue mission. “I assure you that actions are on, intelligence is still being processed and strategies and tactics are being considered on how to ensure that the lovely citizens come out alive just like some of the Chibok girls,”he said. Major General Enenche spoke further: “Efforts are on. And let me tell you ,when you get information, you convert it to intelligence and even what is uploaded on the YouTube was also a guide. But the ultimate of what Nigerian government should do and the military in its own aspect of that overall action should do is to as much as possible, ensure that these people come out alive.
“I make bold to tell you that just like somebody said we should go and carpet bomb the whole of the North East. If you carpet bomb North East, then who are you saving and who are you defending? “Is it land that you are defending? Is it land you are going to rescue, it is human beings. “So, that is why a lot of caution is always exercised even if you have a footage, even if you have real time evidence that these people are there but once they are being used as human shield,then you need to be very careful on the rescue mission.
The captives,in a video released by the terrorists on YouTube, had various pleaded with the Nigerian government for intervention with a view to releasing them. Two of the University of Maiduguri workers in the video,said they were lecturers in the Geology Department of the University and gave their names as Yusuf Ibrahim and Dr. Solomon N. Yusuf. The third man identified himself as Haruna