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Missing Yobe Schoolgirls: We Need More Time To Assess Situation – FG

Ronke Sanya  
Updated February 23, 2018
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed while addressing journalists over the situation of missing schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe State.

 

The Federal Government on Thursday said more time would be needed to assess the situation concerning the whereabouts of some schoolgirls who reportedly went missing after Boko Haram terrorists invaded a Government Girls’ College in Yobe State.

The school, Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) located in Dapchi, Bursari Local Government area of Yobe state was on Monday, February 19 thrown into dismay after the terrorist struck, carting away food items.

The local residents of the Dapchi community said the girls and their teachers fled the attack but some of the girls, according to the Yobe State Government are still unaccounted for.

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed on Thursday during a delegation visit to Yobe State said the Federal Government cannot disclose the number of girls missing as more time would be needed to assess the situation in Dapchi critically.

“On the issue of the number of missing girls, we cannot give what we are not sure of, until we hear from their parents, we cannot say this is the number. Give us a few more time please,” the Minister of Information told journalists shortly after he arrived Dapchi.

Lai Mohammed upon arrival at Yobe State on Thursday, February 22.

Speaking concerning the activities of Boko Haram insurgents, the Minister said the terrorists have reached their ‘dying days’ and are simply seeking attention.

“But we must understand that these are they dying days of the Boko Haram and what they intend to do is to embarrass the government because they have been degraded, they have been pushed out of Sambisa forest.

“They have been starved out of oxygen and the oxygen they feed on is publicity so that they can grab the world’s attention. But I can assure you that with the determination of our gallant military, the days of Boko Haram are numbered,” he added.

Mohammed is in Dapchi on the orders of the President Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari had on Wednesday directed the military and other security agencies to take control in Dapchi, Yobe State after receiving reports of the missing girls. He also ordered a delegation led by the Minister of Defence, Monsur  Dan-Ali, to visit the school for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.

The Yobe State Government on Wednesday issued a statement claiming that some of the girls had been rescued from terrorists by the Nigerian Army. In another statement on Thursday, the government made a U-turn and retracted the statement and tendered an apology.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State, therefore, expressed concern over the incident promising to do everything necessary in partnership with security agencies and the Federal Government to address the situation.

Meanwhile, parents of the missing students are still in confusion about the whereabouts of their children. They converged on Thursday at the District Headquater of Dapchi to await updates from the state government, an effort that met no positive response yet.

Parents of the missing Yobe schoolgirls looking lost as they gather at the District Headquarters of Dapchi.