Nigeria rescues another student from 2014 Chibok kidnapping

Salomi Pogu was found in northern Nigeria with at least one other person who had been kidnapped, according to the military

New York Times News Service
15:19 January 5, 2018

Abuja: The Nigerian military said on Thursday that it had rescued one of the students kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in 2014 from a school in the village of Chibok.

Nearly 300 girls were taken as they prepared for exams, an episode that aroused global outrage.

Salomi Pogu was found in northern Nigeria with at least one other person who had been kidnapped, according to the military. The other abductee was a 14-year-old girl who was with a child. Officials did not release details of their rescue, but local news media reports said it came during a military operation.

Allen Manasa, a spokesman for the village of Chibok, said he believed that one of the rescued women was Pogu. Verification was difficult because the authorities were still trying to contact Pogu’s parents, Manasa said.

Since the kidnapping, Pogu’s parents had been forced to flee their home under threat of attack by Boko Haram and were living in a camp for displaced persons in a remote part of the country.

“There’s no phone reception in that village,” Manasa said.

Pogu and the others who were rescued were being held by the military for medical care Thursday.

In April 2014, fighters from the Islamist militant group stormed the girls’ school and kidnapped as many as 276 of the girls. Militants released images of the captured girls that quickly circulated on the internet, resulting in a social media campaign championed by celebrities with a hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

In the past two years, the government has negotiated for the release of dozens of the girls on two occasions, engaging in a prisoner swap for detained Boko Haram commanders. A few others have been found wandering in the forest or during military operations that freed other captives. A number of the rescued girls have told officials that some fellow students died in childbirth or during military strikes.

About 100 girls are still being held, a fact that is bound to bedevil the party of President Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria moves into the campaign season for the 2019 presidential election. Buhari had promised to secure the release of all of the girls during his previous campaign.