The suspected suicide bomber intercepted in northern Cameroon on Friday March 25, who claims to be one of 219 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists in Chibok, Borno State in 2014, is currently receiving medical treatment in Cameroon.
Information from security and Health authorities in Cameroon revealed that the girl was heavily drugged and bore several injuries on her body. Her health condition had delayed her movement to the far north regional capital of Cameroon, Maroua, as earlier planned.
Pictures of the arrested suspected bomber obtained by Nigerian officials indicated that the girl was likely a minor, between ages nine to 12 years.
A statement released by Mallam Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday stated that her accomplice was about 30 years or more, and that both spoke only in Kanuri language.
However, the Cameroonian authorities are in doubt if the girl was actually among the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls citing inconsistencies over her apparent age, which does not tally with the age of the abducted Chibok girls.
“We don’t think that she was one of the girls (kidnapped) from Chibok,” an administration official who requested anonymity said.
According to the “Bring Back Our Girls” advocacy group, the youngest of those kidnapped in 2014 was 16 years old at the time.
Governor of Cameroon’s North Region, Midjiyawa Bakari, had also voiced doubts over the claims ‘We are treating this statement with caution’, he said adding that such would-be attackers ‘are often drugged and can say anything’.
Mallam Garba Shehu also expressed his skepticism over the claims when he said:
“Considering the well-known guidelines regarding the publication of photography of minors, we have decided to forward the pictures of the suspected bomber to the Murtala Mohammed Foundation for verification by interested Chibok community stakeholders”.
“The ministry of women affairs, the Nigerian high commission in Cameroon and other agencies of government will continue to work together with other stakeholders to verify all the issues”, he added.
The girl in question is one of two would-be suicide bombers arrested in northern Cameroon on Friday wearing 12-kilogramme (26-pound) explosives belts, who claimed to be one of the 219 Chibok school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram jihadists in 2014.
Following the report by the Cameroonian authorities, the Nigerian government selected two parents from Chibok community alongside chairman of the Chibok Abducted Girls Movement, and the group’s women leader to Cameroon to verify whether the suspected female suicide bomber was one of the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram.
The Cameroonian government were to bring the girl to Douala, the country’s largest city, on Monday for her identity to be verified by the delegates.