Friday, April 5, 2019

We spoke two days before her abduction, says journalist who saw neighbour in Boko Haram video

We spoke two days before her abduction, says journalist who saw neighbour in Boko Haram video
July 18
15:24 2017

Jack Vince, a journalist based in Maiduguri, Borno state capital, says one of the abducted women in the video recently released by Boko Haram is his neighbour.

Vince said he spoke with the woman identified as Deborah Philibus two days before she was abducted.

Philibus, a primary school teacher, was kidnapped from a convoy conveying a corpse of a deceased policewoman to Adamawa state, on June 21.

In the video, Philibus appealed to the government not to say that they were not abducted.

“Indeed, we were abducted,” she said.

Vince said he was yet to recover from the shock.

“Sometime last month, my next door neighbour and I travelled to different destinations on the same day,” he wrote on Facebook.

“While I went to Abuja, she was in the ill-fated entourage that was attacked by Boko Haram terrorists while conveying the corpse of a deceased police officer to southern Borno through the notorious Maiduguri-Damboa road.

“I returned to Maiduguri two days later to hear that the woman I’d earlier seen and spoken with was among those abducted in the said attack. It’s been a period of sober reflection and prayers for her safety and those of her companions as sympathisers look forward to their eventual return.”

In the video, one Amina Gomdia, a victim, said five of the abductees were public servants. She described them as breadwinners in their families.

Few weeks after the abduction, Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram leader, had boasted that some officers were captured and had become slaves.

But the state police command denied the allegation, saying few of its personnel went missing after the attack.

“For the avoidance of doubt and to put records straight, there are no policewomen under Boko Haram terrorists’ captivity, as claimed by the sect’s leader,” said Victor Isuku, the command’s spokesperson, in a statement.

A source in the police command, however, told TheCable that the insurgents abducted at least three policewomen.

“It would be demeaning for the authorities to say armed police officers were taken away by the insurgents, hence the denial,” the source said.

“Of these three, there is a particular one I know who was always around Wulari. Her nickname is ‘Baby Girl’, and her service name is Fatsuma.”


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