After playing hide and seek over reported abduction of Dapchi schoolgirls, the Muhammadu-Buhari-led federal government has confirmed our worst fears.
Since Boko Haram attacked Government Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe last Monday, 110 schoolgirls have gone missing.
The military initially claimed some of the girls were found hours after the attack but that turned out to be incorrect with state governor Ibrahim Gaidam apologising for the apparent lie.
Minister of information Lai Mohammed who said Boko Haram took the girls to embarrass Buhari’s administration confirmed, Sunday, 110 girls are indeed unaccounted for.
The confirmation comes a day after Dapchi parents released the names of 105 missing girls.
The fresh kidnapping comes four years after Boko Haram abducted Chibok girls with both kidnappings coming a year before a presidential election.
President Buhari called the latest problem a national disaster.
Here’s Lai Mohammed’s statement
The federal government has confirmed that 110 students of the Government Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State, are so far unaccounted for, after insurgents believed to be from a faction of Boko Haram invaded their school on Monday (19 February, 2018).
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, 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 on Sunday.
He said, based on the briefings from the Principal of the College, Adama Abdulkarim, and the state Commissioner for Education, Mohammed Lamin, 906 students – out of whom 110 have not been accounted for – were in the school on the day of the attack.
Mr. Mohammed also announced that the federal government has directed the police and civil defence authorities in Yobe State to immediately deploy their personnel to all the schools in the state in order to ensure the security and safety of the students and their staffers.
The minister disclosed that the federal government has stepped up efforts to rescue the girls and return them safely to their parents, saying the security agencies are working on many leads regarding the whereabouts of the girls.
”This is the second time in four days that a federal government 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.
For his part, the Minister of Interior 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,” he said.
The federal government delegation, which comprised the Minister of Information and Culture as well as that of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, held an enlarged meeting that was attended by Governor Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe State; members of the state cabinet, the Principal and Vice Principal of the school, representatives of the parents of the missing girls and security agencies, among others.