The Federal Government has started the process of verifying the claim by a suspected female suicide bomber who was intercepted in northern Cameroon on Friday before she could blow herself up that she is one of the 219 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Chibok, Borno State in April 2014.
The Federal Government is arranging to send some members of the Chibok community to Cameroon in order to verify the claim.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists on Saturday.
Shehu said the Minister of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Alhassan; and Nigerian High Commissioner in Cameroon, Ambassador Hadiza Zakari Mustapha, had already swung into action and were receiving a lot of cooperation from the Cameroonian authorities.
He said the verification would be done because there was a doubt in the suspect’s claim following a piece of information that the two girls being detained in Cameroon were about 10 years old.
He added that one of the two girls was also believed to be under the influence of drugs and could not have been in full control of her senses.
The presidential spokesman added that the Nigerian High Commissioner in Cameroon had confirmed that the arrested girls might be brought to the capital, Yaounde, by Monday, at which point the High Commission would seek permission to meet with them.
He said, “The Murtala Mohammed Foundation has offered to cooperate with the Nigerian government in sponsoring two parents from Chibok who have been selected to embark on the trip to Cameroon.
“The two are Yakubu Nkeki, Chairman of the Parents of the Abducted Girls from Chibok association, and Yana Galang, the group’s women leader.
“The Nigerian High Commission will receive the two and will facilitate their access to the two girls once permission to meet and verify their identity is obtained from the Cameroonian authorities.”
Meanwhile, the members of the Chibok community in Borno State are set to send a delegation to Cameroon as part of efforts to identify a suspected suicide bomber, who claimed to be one of the girls abducted in the community in 2014.
The Chairman, Chibok community in Abuja, Tsambido Abana told one of our correspondents on Saturday that he had directed some people to visit Cameroon to identify the suspect, adding that he had also contacted the government about it.
He identified the suspected bomber as Fatima Alhaji, noting however that one of the abducted girls was named Fatima Dabji.
On Saturday, the community and the BringBackOurGirls coalition, said that they had been making frantic efforts to authenticate the claim by the suspected suicide bomber.
The two groups had contacted security agencies to confirm the identity of the suicide bomber who was intercepted in northern Cameroon on Friday before she could blow herself up.
Commenting on the suspected suicide bomber, the community leader, Abana said, “We are making contacts to get some of our people (Chibok community) to visit Cameroon and confirm it because the name of the girl, Fatima Alhaji is not one of the names of the abducted school girls. We don’t have Fatima Alhaji, but we have Fatima Dabji, so we don’t know whether they changed her name in the Boko Haram camp and gave her Alhaji, we can’t say yet until we confirm it. We have also asked the government to find out.”