February 21, 2018
The Yobe state government has confirmed that Boko Haram insurgents abducted some students of Government Girls Science Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state, on Monday.
There has been a controversy over the whereabouts of the students, with Abdulmaliki Sumonu, commissioner of police in the state, saying he could not confirm if the students were kidnapped.
But Ibrahim Gaidam, governor of the state, who confirmed the abduction on Wednesday night, said the army was able to secure the release some of the girls.
Although he did not give details, the governor said those who regained freedom were currently in custody of the army.
Gaidam spoke in a statement issued on his behalf by Abdullahi Bego, director of press at the government house.
“The Yobe state government hereby informs the public that some of the girls at Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) whose school was attacked by Boko Haram terrorists last Monday have been rescued by gallant officers and men of the Nigerian Army from the terrorists who abducted them,” the statement read.
“The rescued girls are now in the custody of the Nigerian Army. We will provide more details about their number and condition in due course.
“His Excellency Governor who is very grateful for the gallantry and hard work of the officers and men of the Nigerian Army involved in the operation, is monitoring the situation closely and will make a statement in due course.”
Bego had earlier said the government could not confirm if the students were abducted but that 50 schoolgirls could not be accounted for.
The figure he gave contradicted that of Abdulmaliki Sumonu, the state police commissioner, who said 111 students were missing.
“Out of the 926 students in the school, over 50 are still unaccounted for as of the time of this statement,” he had said.
“However, the Yobe State Government has continued to receive information about some of the girls being found in the general area to which they escaped.
“The state government is coordinating with the army and law enforcement agencies to ensure that those girls are returned safely.
“The Yobe state government has no credible information yet as to whether any of the schoolgirls was taken hostage by the terrorists.”
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had expressed concern over the contradictory statements from the authorities.
On his part, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the military to take charge of the school, while he sent three ministers for on-the-spot assessment of the situation.