Not again! Parents and school authorities have revealed that at least 94 school girls from a Government Girls Science and Technical in Yobe state, Nigeria are missing. The all-girls school was attacked by Islamist militant group, Boko Haram. The militants invaded the town on Monday and targeted the all-girls school after arriving the town around 7 pm with over 18 gun trucks. Also, 4 bodies of students were recovered from the bush in the nearby town.
Although the raid happened on Monday, the school authorities and parents waited to do a headcount of the students to be sure of the exact situation. According to residents of the community, Boko Haram terrorists came into Dapchi town with trucks mounted with high caliber weapons shooting sporadically and later headed to the girls’ hostels at the school where some 740 girls were resident. The sound from the sect’s militants explosives and gunshots alerted the students and their teachers who immediately scampered into nearby bushes for safety.
However, after the headcount on Tuesday, it was discovered that at least 94 of the girls were still missing. The school was immediately closed down while education authorities and security forces in the state began efforts to locate the missing students.
Residents and civilian militia groups in Dapchi say they believe Boko Haram had carefully planned to kidnap schoolgirls in their town over some time. A week before the attack soldiers protecting the town were moved elsewhere leaving the town vulnerable. Nigerian security forces backed by military jets later arrived Dapchi and “chased away” the terrorists who had continued on a looting spree. Nigerian military sources are unusually silent about latest claims by parents that the girls might have been abducted after Monday night raid.
As of today, Thursday, February 22nd, 48 of the 94 girls have been found. The Yobe State Commissioner for Education, Mohammed Lamin, had in Damaturu, about 100 kilometres from Dapchi, revealed the discovery of the 48 girls.
28 girls returned on Tuesday, he said, with another 20 received from a village they had ran to. He said:
This has brought down the number of missing pupils from 94 to 46 as of this morning (Wednesday). We are still hopeful that more pupils will return soon.
In April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped more than 270 girls from a school in the northeastern town of Chibok in Borno state sparking global outrage that birthed the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. In September 2017, some 100 Chibok girls were reunited with their families after the Nigerian government shelled out over €2 million in ransom payments to Boko Haram terrorists. The deal also included a controversial prisoner swap deal with the Nigerian government that saw five Boko Haram top commanders released.
More than 100 schoolgirls remain in the custody of Boko Haram terrorists who are believed to be using them to negotiate for more cash and release of top terrorist commanders in the custody of Nigerian authorities.