The federal government has confirmed that 110 students of Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, are yet to be accounted for, after insurgents believed to be from a faction of the terror group, Boko Haram, invaded the school last Monday.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the figure after a meeting on Sunday, in Damaturu, the state capital, 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.
Mohammed in a statement said based on the briefings from the Principal of the College, Hajia Adama Abdulkarim, and the state Commissioner for Education, Hon. Mohammed Lamin, 906 students – out of whom 110 have not been accounted for – were in the school on the day of the attack.
There had been confusion over what transpired at the school last Monday, as there were conflicting accounts on the fate of the school girls. While the federal government and the police command in the state could not as at Thursday confirm if there was any abduction by the terrorists group, unconfirmed reports put the number of missing girls at 111.
By the weekend, however, parents who had their wards in the school put the number of those who had not been found at 105.
Hoisting some clarity on the matter on Sunday, Mohammed rounded up the figures at 110 and announced that the federal government had directed the police and civil defence authorities to immediately deploy their personnel in all the schools in the state in order to ensure the security and safety of the students and their staff.
The minister disclosed that the federal government had stepped up efforts to rescue the girls and return them safely to their parents, adding that security agencies were working on many leads regarding the whereabouts of the girls.
He said: “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.”
The Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), who was also on the delegation, said the team embarked on the trip in order to get the facts right so that the approach to the solution would be correct.
“We must get back the girls and also ensure that this does not happen again,” he said.
The federal government delegation, comprising Mohammed and Dambazau, held an enlarged meeting that was attended by the state Governor, Alhaji 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.