Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The troops of 21 Brigade supported by members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) deployed in Operation Lafiya Dole have rescued 148 hostages in some parts of Borno State used by Boko Haram as forced labourers and sex slaves.
The Deputy Director Public Relations, Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement yesterday said the hostages were freed in Modu Kinetic, a remote village in Bama Local Government Area of the state.
Nwachukwu said the troops rescued the hostages during an extensive clearance operation on June 3, 2018, to rid the general area of Bama, Modu Kimeri and Gulumba Gana of fleeing elements of Boko Haram terrorists who had escaped from the ongoing troopsâ€™ onslaught in the Lake Chad Islands and fringes of the northern borders of the state.
According to him, â€œThe rescued hostages, comprising 15 men, 58 women and 75 children, revealed during a joint profiling and interrogations by troops of operation Lafiya Dole and other security agencies, that the Boko Haram terrorists had sexually violated the females and used them as sex slaves. Two pregnant teenage girls are among the rescued persons. The rescued persons further disclosed that the men were not spared as they were regularly engaged in forced labour while in the captivity of the terrorists. They will be promptly handed over to officials of Bama Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp for welfare and administration.â€
Nwachukwu stated that the troops have also successfully cleared adjoining villages including China, Sabon Gari-1, Sabon Gari-2, Sabon Gari-3 and Sabon Gari-4 villages. He listed other areas cleared by troops along the axis of operation to include Nguzoduwa, Falla, Bulangala, Botori and Bula Matawa villages.
Additionally, he said the troops recovered 22 Dane guns, one tool box used for fabricating local fire arms, four Boko Haram flags, a motorcycle and one bow and 20 arrows.
He assured them that the troops remain resilient and are carrying out further exploitation.