Sixty-three women who were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in parts of Borno State about two weeks ago, may have escaped captivity and returned to their homes, security sources revealed Sunday.
Sources told reporters in Maiduguri that the women, who emerged in large numbers on Saturday must have taken advantage of the relaxed security at the hideouts where they were held hostage.
It is also believed that the siege by the insurgents on military and security facilities last Friday on Damboa might have presented the women with the opportunity to flee from their abductors.
Some 68 women were allegedly abducted by insurgents from Kummabza village in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State two week ago.
The abduction was however denied by the federal government while the Borno State Government treated the case with caution with the state governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima setting up an inquiry into the abduction.
Two weeks later no report has been submitted and nothing has been said of the incident. But investigations into the incident revealed that there was a grand conspiracy to cover it up as the nation was still grappling with the embarrassment of the abduction of the over 200 schoolgirls from Government Secondary School in Chibok on April 14.
A top official in Borno had revealed that there was actually a kidnapping of almost 70 women, but the state government was handling the issue with caution in order not to be drawn into another confrontation with the federal government, which had accused it of masterminding the abduction of the schoolgirls.
The appearance of the 63 women is expected to go uncelebrated as the government would not want the attempt at a cover up to be made public.
Some of the residents of the villages from where the women were abducted told reporters that the women who looked unkempt made their way home on Saturday.
One Adamu Suleiman, a member of the youth vigilante group, revealed: "I have just received an alert from my colleagues in Damboa area that about 63 of the abducted women and girls had made it back home. They took to their heels when the camp where they were held up had sparse number of men as many of their abductors had gone on a major operation.
"We don't have the details of their escape yet, but we believe God gave them the opportunity at the time the insurgents came in their large numbers to attack Damboa on Friday."
"We still believe five women could still be in the camp or perhaps something must have happened to them."
A top security officer who did not want his name in print further revealed that half of the women who escaped had already been reunited with their families, while some others found wandering in the bush near Adamawa State are now in the custody of soldiers in Gulak town.