The Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Abubakar Njodi, on Friday lashed out at the military over claims it made that it had rescued oil workers that were recently ambushed and captured by Boko Haram fighters.

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The crew of geologists and their aides were from the university and were subcontracted by NNPC. A livid Njodi, whose brother was among those killed, faulted claims made last Wednesday by the spokesperson of the Nigeria Army, Sani Usman, who had told the media that soldiers had rescued the kidnapped officials.

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Speaking during a condolence visit paid on him by officials of the federal ministry of petroleum, the vice chancellor said he still could not understand why the Nigeria Army chose to mislead the world with the spurious claims.

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“The military said it has rescued all the geologists working for NNPC. I wonder how can the recovery of corpses be referred to as being rescued,” he said. Mr. Njodi said his staff were out in the danger zone carrying out the oil exploration services after the security operatives had assured them of their safety.

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“We are all at liberty to guess now as to whether security was provided or not,” he said. “We have lost four vibrant members of our academic staff in that incident. None of the affected lecturers put in less than ten years in the university.


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For me to get a replacement for them would be difficult. We are talking of a department that has about 12 to 13 members of academic staff. Four of them are no more.”

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The Minister of Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, had on Thursday also said the exploration only continued after security assurances by the military.

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The V.C added that four other staff were still missing: two lecturers, one technologist and a driver, whose photo has been released by Boko Haram. The total unofficial death toll is believed to be 48 ( 18 soldiers and 30 civilians).

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A rattled President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday night directed that all the service chiefs relocate to Maiduguri to personally supervise the counterinsurgency operation.

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