- The Borno state police command has asked the public to disregard claims made by Abubakar Shekau in a recent video narrating how events unfolded during the attack
- According to the statement released by the police, the convoy ambushed was a burial party for late Sgt Rahila Antikirya
- The police spokesman claimed that most of those abducted were civilians, but this was refuted by an insider who also disclosed that more than one policewoman has been abducted
The Borno state police command has finally indicated that two of its personnel, including one woman, were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents during the ambush on June 20, along Maiduguri-Biu road, Premium Times reports.
This comes after the police had initially denied that any of its female personnel was abducted by the terrorist group.
The confirmation comes in response to a recent video released by Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the terrorist sect, stating that no fewer than 10 policewomen were being held captive.
NAIJ.com notes that in initial reports after the incident, it was stated that the insurgents had ambushed a convoy traveling under military escort and abducted 16 women amongst others.
The police however claimed that there was no evidence to show that the missing personnel were indeed being held in Boko Haram captivity.
Victor Isukwu, a deputy superintendent of police and Borno police public relations officer, had in the statement released on Wednesday, June 28, described Shekau’s account of events as false and urged the public to ignore him.
The statement read in part: “For avoidance of doubts, and to put records straight, there are no Police women under Boko Haram terrorist’s captivity as claimed by the sect leader.
“The Command wishes to reiterate as contained in an earlier Press Briefing by the Commissioner of Police, CP Damian A. Chukwu, on 20/06/2017 that; Police lorry with Reg. No. NPF 2677 D was carted away; Occupants comprise personnel, relations and burial party for late Sgt Rahila Antikirya.
“The Driver of the Police lorry, Sergeant Kubura Mwada, was shot and injured on his back. He was able to jump down from the lorry and escaped.
“The Personnel missing are Inspector Fatsuma Sale and Cpl Abubakar Haruna. There is no evidence in the video clip indicating that they are in the captivity of the sect.”
Isukwu added that most of those abducted during the attack were civilians, and he explained other occupants of the lorry “took advantage of the space in the lorry conveying personal effects of the deceased policewoman and joined the burial party”.
Wednesday’s statement is the first time the names of missing personnel have been mentioned by the police since the incident occurred.
However, contrary to the police statement, an eyewitness with knowledge of the event stated that it was more than one policewoman abducted by the insurgents.
According to the source, “They might say those mentioned were those officially assigned to escort the corpse, but there are many others of late Rahila’s colleagues that also volunteered to accompany the burial party.”
The Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has declared in the video that the abducted women would be used as slaves in retaliation against the security services for the wives and daughters of Boko Haram members who had been killed.
Recall that NAIJ.com previously reported that a statement by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau that the female police officers recently abducted in Borno state had been turned to slaves of the group sparked outrage among some Nigerians.
This was as the security agencies in the country continued to deny being aware of the abductions.
Watch this NAIJ.com TV video about Air Force operations against Boko Haram