Boko Haram Captives: 10 Freed Women Not Our Officials - Police
There is a twist to the identity of persons released by Boko Haram few days ago and it appears the government is not sure of the identity of 10 of them.
Thirteen persons were released and the government had identified three of them as lecturers of the University of Maiduguri while the other 10 it said were 'police wives'.
Days after the Federal Government released a statement welcoming the release of the abducted persons and partially identified them, the Nigeria Police Force is dismissing claims, informing Nigerians that the rescued persons were neither their personnel nor wives of police officials.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which was involved in the handing over process, had also described the women as 10 women police officers.
But the spokesman for the Police, Mr Damian Chukwu, says 10 women rescued from Boko Haram were neither police women nor wives of police officers.
Chukwu made the clarification while addressing reporters during the monthly police officers meeting on Monday in Maiduguri.
He described reports indicating that the 10 police women who were among the 13 persons released by Boko Haram insurgents as “misleading”.
"That information is false. I have to react to it.
"It will be recalled that on 20th June, 2017, a burial party of one of our women sergeants attached to the SIB who died in the course of duty was being taken home to Lassa in Askira-Uba Local Government Area for burial.
"Due to security encumbrance on Maiduguri-Damboa Highway, they were under military and police escort, on getting to a town about 30 kilometres from Maiduguri; they were ambushed by the Boko Haram.
"Some women, who took advantage of the empty space in the truck, were trapped.
“We do not know their number but a few of them who were able to jump down, scampered for safety and escaped. Those of them who could not make it were taken away with the truck by the Boko Haram.
“Among them, since that time, we recorded only one woman inspector attached to the CIB, who happened to be a very close friend of the deceased sergeant, the rest of them are not police women and they are not wives of police personnel," the police spokesman said.”
He further disclosed that one policeman was killed while the driver of the truck and a brother of the deceased were shot. They sustained injuries in the attack, a situation which de-mobilised the vehicle.
The statement by the police spokesman highlights the need for coordination of information between government's spokesmen and every other agency to ensure consistency.
Who will Nigerians believe now?