110 Dapchi schoolgirls missing after Boko Haram attack

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The Nigerian 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 February 19.

The country’s minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, announced the figure after a meeting in Damaturu between a government delegation and representatives of Yobe State government, the college, the parents, security agencies and Bursari local government area, where Dapchi is situated.

He said, based on the briefings from the principal of the college, Hajia Adama Abdulkarim, and the state commissioner for education, Mohammed Lami, 110 out of 906 students, have not been accounted for. All the students were in the school on the day of the attack.

Mohammed also announced that the 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 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 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.

On his part, the minister of interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau (retired) 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 government delegation, which comprised the Ministers of Information and Culture as well as that of Interior, Lieutenant General Dambazau (retired), held an enlarged meeting that was attended by Yobe State governor Ibrahim Gaidam; 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.

© NAN

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