Yobe Schoolgirls Under Attack by Boko Haram, 46 Currently Missing-Yobe Govt.
94 pupils of the Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, was reportedly missing early morning on Wednesday, we are still hopeful that more pupils will return soon.”
Forty-Eight of the missing 94 pupils have come out of hiding places.
The Yobe State Commissioner for Education, Mohammed Lamin, who stated this in Damaturu, added that the state government had organised search parties to look for the remaining 46 pupils.
The Busari Local Government Area, where the attack happened is 100 kilometres away from Damaturu, the Yobe State capital.
Lamin explained that the school registered 28 missing students that returned on Tuesday, saying 20 more were received from Magwaram village on Wednesday.
He said, “This has brought down the number of missing pupils from 94 to 48 as of this morning (Wednesday). We are still hopeful that more pupils will return soon.”
The commissioner asked parents to report to the school whenever their children arrived home.
An anonymous source in the school told our correspondent that the 28 students that returned were rescued by villagers from bushes around Dapchi town.
The source said, “Some of the children trekked between 15 and 20 kilometres in the bush to save their lives. We have also received calls from Fulani settlements that they are bringing more students they found in the bush.”
So far, no dead body has been recovered, but we heard that one pupil was bitten by a snake. She was said to have been treated locally. But she would be taken to a hospital in Damaturu for proper attention.”
It was gathered that a combined team of security operatives had been drafted to the area to search for the remaining missing students.
The Yobe Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, charged the military and other security outfits to ensure that none of the pupil was lost.
The governor in a statement by his spokesman, Abdullahi Bego, 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 pupils were helped by their teachers to escape to the surrounding bushes and villages as terrorists stormed the town on Monday.
“Many pupils are still unaccounted for, but the Yobe State Government has been receiving the girls that were found in the general area to which they escaped.
The government is coordinating with law enforcement agencies to ensure that those girls are returned safely.”
“The Yobe State Government has no credible information to any of the schoolgirls was taken hostage by the terrorists.
“The Yobe State Government assures parents and the school community that it will be necessary to ensure that all of them are found in the area.”
The state government, in another statement sent around 10pm, said more by “the gallant officers and men of the Nigerian Army from the terrorists who abducted them.”
The government further stated that the “rescued girls are now in the custody of the Nigerian Army.”
“We will provide more details on their number and condition in the race,” the statement added.
Buhari sends three ministers to Yobe
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday at the Government of Technical College, Dapchi.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, said this briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mohammed said the President gave the directive immediately after he was informed of the development.
He added that Buhari had asked him to go to school on Thursday (today).
He listed the other two ministers in the Minister of Defense, Monsur Dan-Ali; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.
Mohammed said, “Mr. Dapchi, President of the Government of Dapchi, has been appointed Director of the Ministry of Education.
“He has released a delegation, headed by the Minister of Defense, to Dapchi to get to know tomorrow (Thursday).
B’Haram did not abduct any pupil –Police
Earlier, the Yobe State Commissioner of Police, Mr Abdulmalik Sunmonu, said none of the girls was abducted by Boko Haram terrorists during the attack
The area in question has a vast expanse of land bordering Borno State; and most of the girls who ran into the bush in the wake of the attack they would get help.
“My command, in conjunction with the military, is on top of the situation. The school has been closed with enough security, “said the CP said.
Sunmonu said the police were trying to prevent future attacks on schools.
Also, the spokesman for the military counter-insurgency operation in North-East, Operation Lafiya Dole, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, said the military could not say if there was any abduction in the school.
He said, “The information is so much that the principal of the school is dispersed by the students.
“So far, no destruction of property or killing has been reported. But there were boxes of food and supplies. Our troops have moved into the community.
“The attack on Dapchi is diversionary because of the heat on the insurgents by our troops in the ongoing operation
Mr. Ibrahim Jato, a relationship of Miss Fatima Yakubu, one of the schoolgirls that escaped the attack, told us that the attackers started firing from the hostel, making the girls to quickly run for safety.
“The situation would have been worse if the attackers did not fire, but quietly invaded the school.
“Fatima is still in shock and can not talk now,” he said.
No national plan on schools’ security, says minister
Nigeria lacks a national plan on safety and security for schools, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said on Wednesday.
This speaker is a National Roundtable on Security and Safety of Schools in Nigeria told the Ministry of National Security on Schools of Security.
They noted that the absence of such a policy had been made easy to avoid abducting schoolchildren without encountering resistance.
Adamu, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Basic and Secondary Department, Federal Ministry of Education, Ernest Udoh, said the initiative by WARDC on security for schools was laudable.
He said, “The move for a policy to provide security for schools is good, but it does not mean that government is not doing enough with respect to securing schools. However, there is no national plan or policy on security for schools. “
The Founding Director, WARDC, Abiola Akiyode, said the minister ‘s statement that there was no national plan on security for schools had been shown that the country needed to establish policies to protect schoolchildren.
She said, “Today the representative of the ministry said there is no national plan for safety and security of schools. And what that shows us is that there is a need for us to begin with priorities that will better the lives of our people.
“Security concerns in schools have been happening since four or five years ago. By now as a country, we should have some kind of policy that should intervene in this matter. We should expect the National Assembly to be in charge of this policy framework.
PDP expresses shock, IGP tasks
The Peoples Democratic Party says it’s shocked by reports that 94 schoolgirls were missing after insurgents attacked Girls Secondary School Dapchi, Yobe.
A statement issued by the Spokesman for the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Wednesday said the ruling party was very much disturbed by the development, especially because of the conflicting reports on the whereabouts of the innocent girls.
It remains that the PDP believed that the life, safety and wellbeing of all Nigerians remain of paramount importance to it and therefore insisted that all efforts must be exerted to find the pupils.
He called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to put in motion for the safe return of the pupils.
Ologbondiyan said, “The PDP is monitoring the Nigeria Police investigation into the matter.
“We, however, charge the Inspector-General of Police with the task of putting machinery in place to reduce this situation.