The news last week that two of the 219 Chibok schoolgirls held by Boko Haram since April 2014 had been found and reunited with their families raises hope about the fate of the remaining 217 girls. But it also casts a shadow over the tactics of the military authorities spearheading the effort to rescue the girls and defeat the terrorists.
Amina Ali Nkeki was, reportedly, found on Tuesday evening by the Civilian Joint Task Force, a vigilante group helping the military in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents, on the edge of the Sambisa forest, in Borno State, near the border between Nigeria and Cameroun. Amina, who was nursing a four-month-old baby, was found among a group that included the father of her baby and suspected Boko Haram terrorist, Mohammed Hayatu, who claimed to be her husband. She was taken to her family in Chibok town for identification and then transferred to the military for debriefing.
On Thursday, the military announced the rescue of another girl from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Miss Serah Luka.
The rescue of the girls is cheery news. But it would, probably, have made more sense in the antiterrorism war if the military authorities managed the information secretly and tried to use the rescued persons to get first-hand information on the location and movement of the insurgents. But for the military, alas, publicity seems to be of great value. – Vincent Obia