We can’t confirm rescue of NNPC staff, says Kachikwu

Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu
Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu

The minister of state for petroleum resources, ‎Ibe Kachikwu, says he cannot confirm if any of the oil workers kidnapped by Boko Haram has been rescued.

He said this while speaking with journalists at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) towers in Abuja, on Thursday.

“We only heard, but can’t confirm if anyone has been rescued,” he said.

The insurgents laid an ambush for the oil workers in Magumeri local government area of Borno state on Tuesday.

The NNPC had commissioned the oil workers to explore oil in Lake Chad.

Nine soldiers and some members of the civilian joint task force (CJTF) who were providing security for them were killed.

A day after, the army announced that all the NNPC staff had been rescued.

‎”So far, we have rescued all the NNPC staff and recovered the corpses of the officer, eight soldiers and a civilian have who have been evacuated to 7 division medical services and hospital,” Sani Usman, army spokesman, had said in a statement.

But Kachikwu maintained that NNPC could not confirm the army’s statement.

Responding to questions on why the government sent the team to explore oil in the heartland of the insurgents, Kachikwu simply said the military gave it security clearance.

He added that the government would do all it could for the families of those who lost relatives in the incident.