Nigerian Army Rescues Pregnant Chibok Schoolgirl and Her 3 Children

Nigerian Army's Operation HADIN KAI rescues Lydia Simon, a Chibok schoolgirl abducted in 2014, and her three children in Gwoza, Borno State. The rescue operation is a significant step towards ending the Boko Haram insurgency and brings hope to families of other abducted Chibok schoolgirls.

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Nitish Verma
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Nigerian Army Rescues Pregnant Chibok Schoolgirl and Her 3 Children

Nigerian Army Rescues Pregnant Chibok Schoolgirl and Her 3 Children

The Nigerian Army's Operation HADIN KAI (OPHK) has rescued Lydia Simon, a Chibok schoolgirl who was abducted in 2014, along with her three children in Gwoza, Borno State. The rescue operation took place on April 17, 2024, following a continuous siege on the Mandara mountains.

Why this matters: The rescue of Lydia Simon and her children is a significant step towards ending the Boko Haram insurgency that has plagued the region for over a decade, and it highlights the Nigerian military's commitment to rescuing victims of terrorism. This development also brings hope to the families of other abducted Chibok schoolgirls who are still in captivity.

The handover ceremony was held on Thursday, May 9, 2024, at the Headquarters Theatre Command Operation HADIN KAI in Maiduguri. Major General Waidi Shaibu, the Theatre Commander, briefed newsmen on the significance of the event, recalling the 2014 mass abduction of schoolgirls from Chibok that sparked national and international outcry and gave rise to the "Bring Back Our Girls" movement.

General Shaibu praised the persistent military operations targeting terrorist strongholds, which have led to successful rescues like that of Lydia Simon. "The military's efforts to rescue the girls, including operations within terrorists' enclaves, which have yielded positive results," he stated. The Theatre Commander expressed the command's unwavering dedication to liberating all captives still held by insurgent groups.

The ceremony was attended by representatives from the Borno State Ministry of Women Affairs and Youth Development, Component Commanders, Formation Commanders, and Staff Officers from Headquarters Theatre Command and the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army. General Shaibu acknowledged the strategic direction provided by General Christopher Musa, Chief of Defence Staff, and Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, Chief of Army Staff, in enhancing the military's efforts. He also recognized theessential roleof support from the Chief of Army Staff and stakeholders.

Brigadier General Abubakar Haruna, the Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division Nigerian Army, provided details of the rescue, stating that "Lydia and her children have received medical examination and proper care since their rescue." Lydia Simon, who was six months pregnant at the time of her rescue, and her three children have been handed over to the Borno State Government in Maiduguri for reunification with her family.

Therescue of Lydia Simonand her children marks a significant step forward in the ongoing efforts to recover victims of Boko Haram's violence. It serves as a testament to the Nigerian military's commitment to rescuing those still in captivity and bringing an end to the insurgency that has plagued the region for over a decade.