FG Confirms 110 Dapchi Students Missing As Yobe Gov. Blames Military - News Proof

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Monday, 26 February 2018

FG Confirms 110 Dapchi Students Missing As Yobe Gov. Blames Military

FG Confirms 110 Dapchi Students Missing
The Federal Government has confirmed that 110 students of the Government Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State, were still missing.

Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed who is currently in Yobe with the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, as part of efforts to review the situation, announced the figure after a meeting between a Federal Government delegation and representatives of key stakeholders, including the state government, the college, the parents, security agencies and Bursari Local Government, where Dapchi is situated, in Damaturu yesterday.

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He said based on the briefings from the Principal of the College, Hajia Adama Abdulkarim and the Commissioner for Education, Mohammed Lami, 906 students – out of whom 110 have not been accounted for – were in the school on the day of the attack.

However, parents of the schoolgirls yesterday released a list of 105 with the name of one of them missing.

The schoolgirls were kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram insurgents who attacked the school last Monday.

Mohammed announced that the Federal Government has directed the police and civil defence authorities in the state to immediately deploy their personnel to all the schools in order to ensure the security and safety of the students and their staff members.

He disclosed that the Federal Government has stepped up efforts to rescue the girls and return them safely to their parents, saying the security agencies were working on many leads to unravel the whereabouts of the girls.

‘’This is the second time in four days that a Federal Government’s delegation would visit Yobe State since the unfortunate incident. This is a measure of the seriousness with which we are addressing the issue. The security forces are leaving no stone unturned in their search for the girls.
‘’We are back here in Yobe as part of efforts to provide some succour to the parents of the girls, to let them know that they are not alone and also to reassure them that we will not rest until we have found the girls. We will carry the parents along on the efforts we are making,’’ he said.

Minister of Interior, Dambazau, said the delegation embarked on the trip in order to get the facts right “so that the approach to the solution can be correct. We must get back the girls and also ensure that this does not happen again.’’
NAF launches 24-hr search

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said it has embarked on a 24-hour search for the missing schoolgirls.

NAF said it has deployed more air assets, including Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms in its renewed effort at locating and rescuing the kidnapped schoolgirls alive.

NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, who made this known said following confirmation of reports that some of the girls were yet to be accounted for, the NAF deployed some ISR platforms and helicopters to search for and possibly locate the missing girls as well as the rogue Boko Haram terrorists.

Adesanya, in the statement said: “Although these search operations were conducted in a covert manner, for obvious reasons, the efforts did not yield the desired results. Accordingly, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, directed the immediate deployment of additional air assets and NAF personnel to the North-East with the sole mission of conducting day and night searches for the missing girls.

“It is noteworthy that the renewed efforts at locating the girls are being conducted in close liaison with other surface security forces.

“While the NAF will spare no efforts at possibly locating the girls via its air operations, it also seizes this opportunity to call on anyone, especially the locals, who might have any information that could lead to the location of the girls to bring such information forward to NAF authorities or other relevant security agencies,” NAF said.

Gov: How Nigerian military caused Dapchi attack, kidnap of schoolgirls
The Governor of Yobe State, Ibrahim Gaidam, has again indicted the Nigeria military for the attack on Dapchi town and the abduction of the schoolgirls.

He said the attack came barely a week after the military withdrew troops from the town.

He said if the soldiers had been on ground, the attack and subsequent abduction would have been averted.

Gov. Gaidam said this when he hosted the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, who was in Damaturu on a sympathy visit.

“I blame the whole attack on Dapchi on the military and the defence headquarters who withdrew troops from Dapchi….”

Governor Gaidam said the excuses given to him by the Theatre Commander that the withdrawal was due to shortage of personnel was unacceptable.
“When I met the Theatre commander on why the military where withdrawn, he said they have shortage of manpower. To me, it is not an excuse because it’s duty bound for the FG to recruit and bridge the gap,” he added.

The attack occurred barely a week after the military withdrew soldiers from there, the Yobe governor claimed.
“Before then, Dapchi has been peaceful, there was never such incident. But just a week after they withdrew the troops, Boko Haram came to attack the town.”

The governor said the Dapchi incident was not the first time the absence of soldiers in the Boko Haram troubled state would expose residents to such kind of attacks.

“Let me be quoted anywhere, the military must take blame for the attack on Dapchi. The same thing happened in 2013 when the military suddenly removed troops guarding the town and a week later Boko Haram went there to attack the town and the secondary school there killing 29 students.”
Gov. Shettima who expressed his sympathy to the government and people of Yobe State over the “unfortunate incident” said the abduction reminded him of conspiracy theories regarding the Chibok case.

“Your Excellency, I have been in your shoes since 2014 when schoolgirls were abducted in Chibok. I know exactly how you feel. When our daughters were abducted in Chibok, only God understood how I felt and I can imagine how you also feel, and the trauma you are going through. The parents of these girls would always look up to you with hope in the midst of agony. I know you are pained but I also believe that Insha Allah, these girls will be rescued very soon. It is unfortunate that we have faced yet another abduction but that only reminds us about the difficulties of fighting insurgency,” Shettima said.

The Borno governor said he was in Yobe not just as governor but also to represent the Northern Governors Forum (NGF), noting that the forum shared in the grief of the people of Yobe State.

“We stand by you at this difficult time. We share the grief of parents whose daughters are affected by this unfortunate incident. They are not their daughters alone, they are our daughters as well,” Shettima said.


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