A former Minister of Education, and convener of the Bring Back Our Girls(BBOG) campaign, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili has said the abducted Chibok girls may still be within Sambisa Forest in Borno State. Recall 276 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State on the night of 14–15 April 2014 by Boko Haram, an extremist and terrorist organization. 57 of the schoolgirls managed to escape over the next few months. In May 2016, one of the missing girls, Amina Ali, was found. A further 21 girls were freed in October 2016, while another girl named Maryam Ali Maiyanga was found and rescued by the Nigerian Army on 5 November 2016.
In a move to underline the military’s success in the anti-terrorism war in the North-East, the Federal Government invited Ezekwesili to join a delegation for an assessment tour of Sambisa Forest and other battle spots in Borno State on Monday,16th January 2017. The offer was contained in a letter to Ezekwesili by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. She was asked to nominate three members of the BBOG to be part of the mission at the instance of the military. In the delegation were Alhaji Lai Mohammed; the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Yusuf Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, BBOG members and a select group of journalists. They toured the NAF base in Yola and witnessed the first-hand efforts by NAF to search for the unaccounted Chibok girls.
On their return from Sambisa Forest, Ezekwesili briefly recounted her experience via her verified Twitter page where she said: “The famous Camp Zero in Sambisa? Well, it turns out that, capturing Camp Zero is NOT equal to capturing Sambisa. It is just a spot in there.Capture of Camp Zero in Sambisa is akin to capturing the Capital City of a country. Camp Zero was the Capital SPOT of Boko Haram in Sambisa. Capture of Camp Zero is significant but not because of its SIZE. It is SIGNIFICANT because it USED TO BE the STRONGHOLD of the enemy in there. So, could OUR #ChibokGirls&other abducted citizens be STILL WITHIN the vast field of Sambisa other than Camp Zero? YES. So, NAF searches on.” There are unconfirmed reports that the BBOG convener may give a detailed report of the Sambisa Forest experience.