The Nigerian Army on Sunday said it had recovered 21 additional bodies in an operation to rescue oil exploration crew abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno.
Also, the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has ordered the continuation of search and rescue missions to locate and ensure the freedom of all remaining abducted persons as soon as possible.
A statement signed by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Kukasheka, released in Maiduguri, said that the army recovered vehicles and various calibres of weapons in the operation.
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“So far, the search and rescue team has recovered additional bodies of five soldiers, 11 members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) and five members of the exploration team.
“Contrary to reports in some media, six out of the 12 members of the exploration team that went out are still missing, while one of the NNPC members of staff returned to base alive,” Kukasheka said
Kukasheka, who described the incident as unfortunate, said that the error emanated from the statement issued by the army on the rescue mission was not ‘deliberate.’
Osinbajo, in a statement issued by the spokesman to the Acting President, Mr. Laolu Akande on Sunday in Abuja, condemned the attack and the abduction of the oil exploration workers, soldiers and members of the civilian JTF.
Osinbajo also met again on Saturday night with the nation’s security chiefs in continuation of government’s efforts aimed at rescuing all those abducted oil workers.
Akande disclosed this in a message he posted on his Twitter handle on Sunday.
Osinbajo had last Thursday met with the service chiefs on the same issue.
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Akande listed those who attended the latest meeting with Osinbajo to include all the service chiefs; the Inspector-General of Police, Idris Ibrahim; the Director General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura; and the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu.