111 Dapchi Schoolgirls Missing After Boko Haram Raid — Police
The Police Commissioner in Yobe, Abdulmaliki Sumonu, on Wednesday confirmed that 111 schoolgirls were still unaccounted for, following Monday’s attack by Boko Haram insurgents on Dapchi’s Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi.
Sumonu stated this while fielding questions from newsmen in Damaturu.
He said, “815 out of the 926 students were physically seen in the school as at Tuesday. There are reports that more girls have returned to the school after the head count.”
According to him, there were no abductions or deaths inside the school.
“This contradicted a report by a foreign news agency that some 91 schoolgirls may have been abducted, the way Chibok girls were abducted in April 2014.
“A roll-call at the girls’ school on Tuesday showed that 91 students were absent, said the two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
“I saw girls crying and wailing in three Tata vehicles and they were crying for help,” said a witness from the nearby village of Gumsa who was reportedly forced to show the insurgents the way out of the area and then released”, Reuters reported.
But Sunmonu denied the story of abduction.
“I asked the school’s principal if there were abductions or deaths in the school and she said no.
“I am not unaware of the rumours going on, l want to appeal to the press and the society to please cooperate with the security agencies in this situation,” he said.
The commissioner said the security forces had pursued the insurgents in a new location where they were reported to have been seen.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the insurgents attacked Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi, on Monday and looted foodstuff, while the staff and students ran into the bush for safety.
However, in a separate report, the Yobe State government said that it is only 50 out of 926 Dapchi schoolgirls that have not reported back to school.
The government doubted whether any of the girls had been abducted by the attackers, saying there was no credible information to back the story of abduction.
Abdullahi Bego, Director General on press affairs to the governor in Damaturu said:
“The Yobe State Government is working with the Nigerian Army and other security and law enforcement agencies to ensure that all students in the school are fully accounted for.
“As the public is aware, the students were helped by their teachers to escape through the night to the surrounding bush and villages as the terrorists stormed the town last Monday.
“Out of the 926 students in the school, over 50 are still unaccounted for as of the time of this statement.
“However, the Yobe State Government has continued to receive information about some of the girls being found in the general area to which they escaped.
“The State Government is coordinating with the army and law enforcement agencies to ensure that those girls are returned safely.
“The Yobe State Government has no credible information yet as to whether any of the schoolgirls was taken hostage by the terrorists.
The statement said Gov Ibrahim Gaidam was saddened and outraged by the unfortunate event.
“The governor has directed that all relevant personnel and agencies work closely with the army and other security organisations to address the situation.
The Yobe State Government assures parents and the school community that it will do everything necessary to ensure that all the missing girls are found and returned to their school and families and that security is improved in the area.
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