Some of the abducted students of Girls Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State yesterday narrated how they escaped from the terrorists.
The terrorists suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect, numbering more than 100 stormed the school wearing army uniforms and deceived the schoolgirls into thinking they were soldiers who had come to evacuated them from an impending attack, unknown to them that they were being abducted.
The students, who had returned to sit for the on-going West African School Certificate (WASC) exams at their school despite a state-wide closure of educational centres in Borno because of recent Boko Haram attacks in the state, initially obeyed the armed visitors, thinking they were government troops there to protect them.
One of those who managed to escape the abductors, 18-year-old Godiya Isaiah told Reuters that “When we saw these gunmen, we thought they were soldiers, they told all of us to come and walk to the gates, and we followed their instructions.”
But when the armed men started ransacking the school stores and set fire to the building, the terrified girls being herded at gunpoint into vehicles realized they were being kidnapped.
“We were crying,” Godiya said, recounting how she later jumped from a truck and ran away to hide in the bush. Other girls were packed into a bus and some pick-ups.
Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima said at least 14 girls had managed to escape and reach safety.
Borno state education commissioner Inuwa Kubo said other girls told the same story as Godiya.
“They went into the bus unsuspecting,” he told Reuters.
“They were lured into the vehicle because they were told that the school was going to be attacked,” he added.
The attackers also raided nearby Chibok town, ransacking stores and offices there and killing several people, witnesses said.
The Military authorities announced last night that most students of the Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok have been freed in the ongoing Search & Rescue operations to free the abducted students.
A statement issued by Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade said: “With this development, the Principal of the school has confirmed that only eight of the students were still missing. One of the terrorists who carried out the attack on the school has also been captured.”