Western Governments Knew Where 80 Abducted Chibok Girls Were, British Envoy says

chibok girlsA report by the U.K Sunday Times is alleging that the US and British governments knew where at least 80 of the Nigerian girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram sect where but failed to launch a rescue mission.

The former British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Pocock, told the Sunday Times that a large group of the missing girls were spotted by British and American surveillance officials shortly after their disappearance on April 14, 2014, but experts felt nothing could be done.

‘Too High Risk’

Dr Pocock was quoted by the Sunday Times as saying that Western governments felt ‘powerless’ to help, as any rescue attempt would have been too high risk – with the Boko Haram terrorists using the girls as human shield.

He said: “A couple of months after the kidnapping, fly-bys and an American eye in the sky spotted a group of up to 80 girls in a particular spot in the Sambisa forest, around a very large tree, called locally the Tree of Life, along with evidence of vehicular movement and a large encampment”.

He told Sunday Times that the girls were there for at least four weeks but authorities were ‘powerless’ to intervene – and the Nigerian government did not ask for help anyway.

“A land-based attack would have been seen coming miles away and the girls killed, an air-based rescue, such as flying in helicopters or Hercules, would have required large numbers and meant a significant risk to the rescuers and even more so to the girls.’

“You might have rescued a few but many would have been killed. My personal fear was always about the girls not in that encampment – 80 were there, but 250 were taken, so the bulk were not there. What would have happened to them? You were damned if you do and damned if you don’t,” he added.

He further told the Sunday Times Magazine that the information was passed to the Nigerian government but it made no request for help.

Terrorists stormed a secondary boarding school in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state, northern Nigeria in April 14, 2014, and seized over 200 girls who were preparing for their final-year exams.

Although 57 of the girls managed to escape the rest have remained missing and have not been heard from or seen since.

The abduction triggered solidarity protests in different countries with protesters carrying placards mostly written, “Bring Back Our Girls”.

In different intervals, top military officials said they were aware of the girls’ location, but could not launch an attack on the terrorists, fearing it could lead to civilian casualties.

Governors Forum Hopeful Boko Haram Attacks Will End Soon

Abdul-aziz-YariNigerian Governors are hopeful that the story of the deadly attacks by Boko Haram will be different by the second quarter of 2016.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Governor Abdul’aziz Yari, gave the governors position in a meeting with some members of the British Parliament in Abuja on Saturday.

Governor Yari told the visiting parliamentarians that the government and security operatives were working daily to end the activities of Boko Haram in the nation’s northeast and make the area safe.

“When you go to the UK, the only thing Nigeria is pronounced known today is about Boko Haram.

“Boko Haram, day by day, is becoming something of the past. By the second quarter of this year, the story will be something different.

“That, we can achieve and we have seen the achievement because some of the IDPs are planning to start going back to their towns by the end of first quarter of this year,” he stressed.

The Governor of Zamrafa State added that the government wanted to end the insurgency so that foreign investments in the country could increase.

“Insecurity is a global issue that has its own time to be discussed. But in Nigeria, we are working harder to ensure that peace returns for investors to come in and invest,” he told the British Parliament Members.

Governor Yari further said Nigeria was a market for everyone, with its estimated population of over 160 million.

“It is a big market for everyone to come and put his investment,” he stated.

The British delegation was led by a Nigerian-Born British Parliamentarian, Chi Onwurah.

The team also had another Nigerian-Born British Parliamentarian, Kate Osamor and former British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Sir Richard Gozney.

Miss Onwurah said the team was in Nigeria to promote closer ties between Nigeria and the UK.

She also talked about their roots in Nigeria and the potentials of Nigerians.

She said her team was interested in how they could rally Nigerians in diaspora to support the economic progress of Nigeria.