Abducted IDPs in Borno went beyond permissible distance – DHQ

“The IDPs reportedly went beyond the permissible distance to get firewood as a result of deforestation around their camp."

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Abducted IDPs in Borno went beyond permissible distance - DHQ
File photo of Borno IDPs

The Defence Headquarters says the 112 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who were abducted by terrorists in Borno recently, reportedly went beyond the permissible distance from their camp without informing the camp officials.

The Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, made this known while giving update on the operations of the Nigerian Armed Forces across the country  on Thursday in Abuja.

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Buba said that troops, on March 3, received information from the Coordinator of Borno State Emergency Management Agency  about suspected abduction of an unknown number of IDPs in Gamboru Ngala Local Government Area of Borno.

He said that preliminary investigation revealed that the IDPs left camp to an undisclosed location to fetch  firewood.

He said that the IDPs reportedly went beyond the permissible distance.

According to him, the IDPs reportedly did not notify the camp authorities of their movement.

“It was later,  at about 2030hrs at  night, when the IDPs did not return to camp, that alarm was raised as to their possible abduction by terrorists.

“It was at that stage that troops were notified of the incident.

“The standard practice was for troops to be notified prior to any movement of IDPs beyond the permissible distance of 5-7km from their camp.

“The IDPs reportedly went beyond the permissible distance to get firewood as a result of deforestation around their camp.

The terrorist abducted 112 IDPs in the process,” he said.

Buba said that efforts were ongoing to rescue them and  others  abducted in other locations including Kaduna and Sokoto states.

He said that search-and-rescue efforts were affected by the late notification of troops about the abduction.

He gave the assurance that the military would  do its best to get back the abducted people.

“Because of the sensitivity of the matter, I cannot go into further details as to signs of life, location and the different options that we have in order to get these hostages back.

“I can further assure that getting these hostages back is very clearly on the top of our priorities.

“It is for this reason we have leveraged on our international partners for support,” he said.