Nigerian Troops Will Rescue Other Chibok Girls – Buhari

Nigerian troops will do what they can to rescue more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram two years ago in the northeast, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday as he met the first girl who had managed to flee the jihadists.

Soldiers working with a vigilante group found Amina Ali Darsha Nkeki on Tuesday near Damboa, south of Maiduguri in the remote north where Boko Haram has waged a seven-year insurgency to set up an Islamic state. Officials confirmed she was one of 219 girls abducted from the government school in Chibok in April 2014.

“Amina’s rescue gives us new hope and offers a unique opportunity to vital information,” Buhari said during a meeting with the teenager, her mother and officials after a presidential jet had flown her to Abuja.

He said the government would make it a priority that Amina, who showed Buhari her four-month old baby, can go back to school.

“Nobody in Nigeria should be put through the brutality of forced marriage, every girl has a right to education and their choice of life,” he said. “Amina must be able go back to school.”

After Amina was discovered the army said it had detained a suspected Boko Haram militant called Mohammed Hayatu, who said he was Amina’s husband.

On Thursday the military released pictures of a clean-shaven man in a white shirt and cream slacks sitting beside Amina on a hospital bed holding the infant in his lap.

The governor of Borno state where the town of Chibok is located said army generals were already drawing up plans to rescue her classmates.

“We believe that in the coming weeks we shall recover the rest of the girls,” Governor Kashim Shettima told reporters after the meeting in Buhari’s office. “The military is already moving into the forest.”

Previous military attempts to storm Sambisa have met with mixed success, with soldiers making significant in-roads but failing to finish off Boko Haram after running into bands of well-armed guerrillas, mines and booby traps.

Amina, who was accompanied by her mother, Binta, and Nigeria’s defence minister and national security adviser, spent more than an hour with Buhari, who made crushing Boko Haram a pillar of his 2015 presidential election campaign.

Buhari, 73, Nigeria’s former military ruler, cradled Amina’s baby in his arms during the meeting in the lavish presidential villa before posing for a group photograph.


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