The Minister of Defence, Brig-General Mansur
Mohammed Dan-Ali (rtd), has warned that it may
take years to find all the Chibok girls kidnapped by
the militant group Boko Haram in 2014.
Speaking to VOA’s Hausa Service, General Manir
Dan Ali said the military is searching Boko Haram’s
hideouts in the Sambisa Forest, a vast area
covering parts of three states in northeastern
He noted that it took a long time for the United
States to find 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
“It took the US up to seven, eight, up to 10 years
before they could get to bin Laden,” he said. “We
are continuing our campaigning in the Sambisa
Forest in all its nooks and corners.”
Ali spoke to VOA as activists mark the third
anniversary of the girls’ abductions. Boko Haram
kidnapped 276 students from Government
Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, on April 13,
2014. There are 195 girls still missing.
In 2014, Boko Haram seized control of much of
north-eastern Nigeria but has been driven back by a
Nigerian-led multinational military campaign.
Despite the success, the government’s inability to
find the girls or determine their fate is
overshadowing the military victory.
Sheikh Nuru Khalid, a member of the influential
Interfaith group that tries to ensure peace between
Nigerian Muslims and Christians, says failure to find
the girls would translate into a victory for Boko
“We can never allow the terrorists to win the war. If
they got (away) free with those girls, then they have
relatively won the war,” he said.
Human rights lawyer, Abdu Bulama Bukar, told VOA
Hausa Service that the government needs to
address the psychological trauma suffered by the
families of the missing girls and other victims of
Boko Haram brutality.
“Married women have been made single again; kids
have been orphaned; homeowners are without
shelter; Nigerians have been turned into refugees in
their own homeland,” he said.