The Nigerian military has revealed how it carried out the rescue mission of the three hundred forty-four (344) boys kidnapped from GSSS Kankara, Kastina State, on December 11.
Major Gen. John Enenche, the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, and retired Major Gen. Ahmed Jibrin, former Director, Military Intelligence, disclosed this during a special edition of the Nigeria Television Authority programme, “Good Morning Nigeria” on Saturday, which they featured.
Jibrin, a Special Adviser, Technical to the Minister of Defence, retired Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi said the minister led a delegation, including National Security Adviser and Service Chiefs to Kankara, Kastina State.
Jibrin said, “Following the directive, the troop closed in on the abductors from 4 different fronts, including the reinforcement that was made from other divisions to ensure that the entire location was sealed off.
“The bandits were all under siege, and they were fully aware of that, feeling the impacts of the presence of the troops both from the air and on the ground.
“When they approached the location where the boys were held, the troops encountered some pockets of opposition which they cleared and moved deeper into the forest.
“Although there was no casualty on the part of the boys, a lot of the bandits were neutralized because, in the attempt by the military to move forward, they laid an ambush in 2 places along the way.
“In fact, in the second place where they laid an ambush, there was serious resistance because they were hiding and occupied the road.
“They delayed the movement of the troop for some hours before they were neutralized.”
Jibrin also noted that while the troops were on the mission field, negotiations were going on at different levels to ensure a safe release.
According to him, the troops couldn’t demobilize the bandits entirely because they used the abducted boys as human shields.
Speaking on the claim of Boko Haram that they did the abducting of the children, Jibrin said the terrorist are seeking for cheap relevance.
“Shekau doesn’t have the reach to carry out the abduction because a lot is being done to stop them in the North-East,” he said.
“He’s just taking advantage of what happened to get publicity locally and internationally, and it’s clear that the abduction was done by bandits.
“All their efforts when they were trying to reach out to the bandits, which they did, were monitored.”
On his part, Enenche explained that the rescue mission was a delicate operation because if it wasn’t done professionally, it could turn to be a negative event.
Enenche said, “This is an operation where you don’t rely on your capacity on platforms and mechanical weapons but your ability to effectively carry out the mission with unarmed combat.
“This means you’ve to silence your enemies and take your objective away without firing a shot.
“It’s very delicate in the sense that if you don’t manage the operation well, the children who are in between you and the enemies will now become the victims.
“When they become the victims, the people outside there’ll attribute it to failure on the part of your security forces.”
According to him, the local information provided was also very encouraging, while the support they got from all the stakeholders was of assistance.
He said: “There was no conspiracy of silence. All that we needed were provided even from the locals, and before you know it, we were able to locate the place.
“All the kinetic and non-kinetic blockades were all effectively monitored.
“This is to the extent that even when they were going to leave their enclave to make bulk purchases from the market, we got information.”
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