NIGERIA: DHQ Weighs Options on Rescue of Abducted Schoolgirls

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The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has been analysing options open to it in rescuing over 200 schoolgirls of  Government  Secondary School (GSS), Chibok, Borno State, kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents in a dawn raid on their school about two weeks ago.
The Director of Defence Information (DDI),  Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, stated this yesterday while responding to THISDAY’s enquiries on the situation of the kidnapped students.
Olukolade also used the opportunity to respond to various allegations and concerns expressed by the elders of Chibok community on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
He said the concern and anxiety from all quarters, including the Chibok elders, were “quite understandable.”
According to him,  while the military was working behind the scene to ensure the successful release of the pupils, it would not disclose its operational and tactical plans. “Please be assured that much as the forces may not disclose details of action being taken to secure the freedom of  the girls, every information received on the subject is duly analysed and acted upon as necessary.
“No information is being ignored in the concerted effort to ensure the safety and freedom of the girls. Just pray for the successful outcome of all the efforts please,” he added.
Meanwhile, the DHQ, also responding to the allegations of maladministration in the military yesterday, warned Nigerians against unguarded utterances aimed at undermining the military and  the nation’s  political leadership. 
It specifically cautioned a delegate from Zamfara State to the National Conference and member of the Committee on National Security, Brig. General Mansur Dan-Ali, to stop telling lies that are capable of casting aspersions on the integrity of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
The DHQ also regretted that the person who was supposed to be telling the truth was the same person spreading false information about recent developments in the armed forces.
The DHQ in a letter obtained by THISDAY to the National Conference Committee on National Security, Sub committee on Defence Infrastructure  dated April 28, 2014 and signed by the Assistant Director (Legal Services), Colonel Godwin Anyalemechi, on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Marshal Alex Badeh, said in  response to the memorandum by   Dan-Ali on alleged maladministration, corruption, discriminatory legal reviews, illegal detention/extra-judicial trials and counter-terrorism measures  frowned on misleading allegations capable of undermining the armed forces.
The CDS said   although the conference committee called for memorandum from the public, he queried “whether it is appropriate for a conference delegate, to submit a memorandum on a subject which he may ultimately preside over. This is against the backdrop of the legal principle that a man should not be a judge in his own case.”
“The insinuations in the memorandum that the counter-terrorism measures adopted by the armed forces have failed, casts aspersion on the armed forces of Nigeria and the political leadership of the nation. This is regrettable, especially coming from a source that is in a better position to appreciate the complexity of asymmetric warfare.
Reacting, Chairman of the conference committee on security, Alhaji Muhammadu Gambo Jimeta, said the matters being addressed were outside the mandate of the committee.
Dan-Ali also told journalists that he was “satisfied with the explanation.”
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