Sixty-three women abducted by the Boko Haram Islamic sect from Kummabza village in the Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State two weeks ago have escaped from their kidnappers, security sources said on Sunday. The women, the security sources said, had reunited with their families.
Some witnesses said that their unexpected freedom was facilitated when the insurgents left them in the camp to embark on an operation where they attacked military formations on Friday. This, the sources said, presented the women with an opportunity to flee from their abductors. It will be recalled that 70 women were allegedly abducted by insurgents from Kummabza village two weeks ago.
The Federal Government denied the abduction but the Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, set up an inquiry into the kidnap. The panel had yet to submit its report when security sources told journalists that the women had escaped from their captors.
Also, investigations into the incident revealed that there was a grand conspiracy to cover up the abduction as the nation was still going through the embarrassment of the abduction of the over 200 schoolgirls from the Government Secondary School in Chibok on April 14.
A top Borno State government official had revealed that though 70 women were kidnapped, the state government was handling the issue with caution in order not to be drawn into another confrontation with the Federal Government who had allegedly believed that the abduction of the Chibok girls was masterminded by the state government.
However, security sources and eyewitnesses told journalists that 63 out of the 70 abducted women had escaped from captivity and made their way back home. Some residents of the villages where the women were abducted told journalists that the women who looked unkempt returned home on Saturday.
One Adamu Suleiman, a member of the youth vigilante group said, “I have just received an alert from my colleagues in Damboa area that about 63 of the abducted women and girls had made it back home. They took to their heels when their captors left them at the camp to go for a major operation.
“We don’t have the details of their escape yet, but we believe God gave them the opportunity at the time the insurgents came in their large numbers to attack Damboa on Friday.”
“We still believe seven women could still be in the camp or perhaps something must have happened to them.”
A top security officer, who did not want his name in print, said half of the escaped women had already reunited with their families while some others found wandering in the bushes near Adamawa State were in the custody of soldiers in Gulak town.