Tobi Soniyi in Abuja and Zacheaus Somorin in Lagos with agency report
The Federal Government is making plans to send two members of the Chibok community to neighbouring Cameroon, in order to verify whether a female suicide bomber arrested in Cameroon is one of the missing schoolgirls abducted in Chibok almost two years ago.
A statement on Saturday by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, said that the Minister of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Alhassan, and the Nigerian High Commissioner in Cameroon, Ambassador Hadiza Zakari Mustapha, had already swung into action and were receiving a lot of cooperation from the Cameroonian authorities.
Shehu revealed that the Nigerian High Commissioner in Cameroon had confirmed that the arrested girls might be brought to the Capital, Younde, by Monday, at which point the High Commission would seek permission to meet with them.
The Murtala Mohammed Foundation has also offered to cooperate with Nigerian government in sponsoring two parents from Chibok who had been selected to embark on the trip to Cameroon.
The two are Yakubu Nkeki, Chairman of the Parents of the Abducted Girls from Chibok association, and Yana Galang, the group’s women leader.
The Nigerian High Commission will receive the two and will facilitate their access to the two girls once permission to meet and verify their identities is obtained from the Cameroonian authorities. A teenage girl on a suicide bombing mission who surrendered to authorities in Northern Cameroon had claimed she was one of the 276 girls abducted from a Nigerian boarding school in Chibok, Borno State by Islamic extremists nearly two years ago.
If confirmed, the development would mark the first news of the missing Chibok girls in many months. It has long been feared that some are being used by their Boko Haram abductors to carry out such attacks given the growing number of young female suicide bombers.
The girl is about 15 years old and turned herself in before detonating her explosives, said Idrissou Yacoubou, the leader of a self-defense group in Limani, Cameroon.
“The girl looked tired, malnourished and psychologically tortured and could not give us more details about her stay in the forest and how her other mates were treated,” he said.
Cameroon has ordered investigations to determine the authenticity of the 15-year-old’s declarations, said Midjiyawa Bakari, governor of the Far North region. Cameroonian authorities declined to identify her by name because she is a minor.