Chibok parents refuted the Nigerian Army’s report that the second rescued girl, Serah Luka, was among the 219 kidnapped by Boko Haram. Amina Ali, believed to be among the Chibok schoolgirls, was announced rescued from the hands of the terrorists on Wednesday.
The army had again said in a statement on Thursday that its troops killed 35 Boko Haram terrorists and recovered several arms and ammunition in the recovery of Luka.
The military statement said, “In addition, they rescued 97 women and children held captives by the Boko Haram terrorists. We are glad to state that among those rescued is a girl believed to be one of the Chibok Government Secondary Schoolgirls that were abducted on April 14, 2014 by the Boko Haram terrorists.
“Her name is Miss Serah Luka, who is number 157 on the list of the abducted school girls. She is believed to be the daughter of Pastor Luka. During debriefing, the girl revealed that she was an SS1 student of the school at the time they were abducted. She further added that she hails from Madagali, Adamawa State.”
However, the head of the Abducted Chibok Girls Parents group, Yakubu Nkeki, told Agence France Presse that unlike the first announcement about Amina, the military had not contacted them beforehand to establish Luka’s identity.
“Only two girls with the surname Luka were on the list of abducted girls and none was from Madagali, in neighbouring Adamawa State, as the military said the second student had claimed,” he added.
The military said Serah was believed to be a pastor’s daughter, but Nkeki said there were only four priests on the list of parents and none was called Luka.
“I can say in my capacity as the head of the Chibok Abducted Girls Parents group that this girl is not among the abducted Chibok girls,” he said.
The head of the BringBackOurGirls campaign group in Abuja, Mrs. Oby Ezekwisili, had expressed joy at Luka’s rescue, but also tweeted, “We have asked for some further verification of her identity.”
Meanwhile, a senior military source, who pleaded anonymity, told AFP that it was “beyond reasonable doubt” that she was among the girls snatched.
He said, “The military personnel who carried out the rescue operation and the civilian vigilantes who assisted them and those who know the girl confirmed that she is among those abducted.
“We can only change our position if the principal of the school or the government of Borno State comes out and refutes this established identity of the girl.”
Meanwhile, the BBOG group said that the return of Luka, whether or not she was among the 219, was a “victory for us all.”
The spokesperson for the group, Sesugh Akume, also commended the efforts of the Nigerian Army, the civilian Joint Task Force and other security forces.