The community dismissed claims by the government that there was no credible intelligence on the location of the girls, stressing that the government had seen three videos, as well as information on the girls’ whereabouts.
The spokesperson for the Kibaku Area Development Association, (Chibok community), Dr. Manasseh Allen, said this in an interview with one of our correspondents on Monday.
He stated that the parents of the abducted girls would continue to demand the release of the girls from the government.
He said, “As far as we are concerned, the Nigerian government and the Nigerian military know where the girls are long before today because the first video was released, the second video was released and the third video was released. Amina Ali escaped and she told them where she had been all these years and since she escaped, she was debriefed that same day.
“After escaping from her abductors, she had provided enough information for the Nigerian government to know where the girls were being held all these while. Even if not all of them, at least the people she had been with over the past few years, she knew them.”
Allen, whose nieces were among the abducted girls, said the government had frustrated several moves to negotiate with the sect for the release of the girls.
He said, “We are not after where the girls are or whether the government knows where the girls are or not. Our demand has been one: the insurgents have been reaching out to Nigeria on the issue of swap and it is the same government that has been thwarting the swap move. So, what I can conclude is that the government knows where the girls are and what we are saying is, we want our girls back.”
Asked if the government or the military was benefiting from the insurgency, Allen declined to respond to this.
Attempts to speak with Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, proved abortive as calls to his mobile phone rang out. A text enquiry sent to his mobile phone was yet to be replied as of the time of going to press.
But the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, had in an interview last month said the military had no intelligence on whether the Chibok girls were in Sambisa Forest or not.
Abubakar said the Nigeria Air Force was working round the clock to rescue the girls and other Nigerians abducted by Boko Haram.
Responding to a question on if the NAF had any intelligence on whether the Chibok girls were in the Sambisa Forest or not, Abubakar said, “Honestly, we don’t. That is the truth of the matter. Even if you see women that are dressed in hijab, how are you sure they are women, that they are not men?”