Nigeria: Yobe Schoolgirls' Incident - Ezekwesili Condemns Govt's 'Silence'

Yobe State
21 February 2018

A former Nigerian minister of education, Oby Ezekwesili, on Wednesday condemned the silence of the Nigerian government over the reported kidnap of school girls in Yobe State.

Mrs. Ezekwesili spoke against the backdrop of reports that a total of 94 students of Government Girls Science and Technical Secondary School, Dapchi, in Yobe, were reportedly missing after Boko Haram insurgents attacked the school on Monday.

PREMIUM TIMES has not been able to independently verify if some of the students were indeed kidnapped.

However, Aishatu Abdullahi, one of the schoolgirls that escaped Boko Haram's Monday night attack on Dapchi town of Yobe State, told our reporter that it was not all of the students that were so lucky.

According to her, some of the girls may have been taken away by the armed insurgents.

But the Yobe State police commissioner, Sunmonu Abdulmaliki, told PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday night that the school was attacked, but no immediate confirmation that any of the schoolgirls were abducted."

"Quite alright, the school was attacked," Mr. Abdulmaliki said by telephone. "As at today, both the parents and the school authorities are doing a headcount," he said.

"The school has up to 900 students, some of them are on farms, some of them have not resumed," he added. "I am sure by morning tomorrow, I should get the details from the ministry to know whether there are missing children or not."

On Wednesday, Mrs. Ezekwesili, a co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement, said she hoped the kidnap was not true.

Describing such incident as a recap of the Chibok incident that occurred in 2014, the former minister said government inaction led to the poor handling of the unfortunate incident.

She wrote on her twitter handle: "God forbids that the presidency, President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerian army continued to keep the public in suspense any further on what really happened two days ago at the Government Girls Science and Technical Secondary School, Dapchi, in Yobe.

"God forbids that nothing was at all learned in all these years #ChibokGirls on how federal government should transparently engage the public on matters like the allegations flying about on Government Girls Science and Technical Secondary School, Dapchi Yobe State after a Boko Haram attack.

"God forbids that we are indeed missing daughters who went to school once again. God forbids that anything resembling a re-enactment of the torture of the nearly four years of our #ChibokGirlsTragedy has happened to Nigeria."

Mrs. Ezekwesili, who has been at the forefront of advocacy for the return of the Chibok girls, also prayed that God forbids the evil in "Our land this evil in our land a second time."

The former minister also asked whether the Nigerian government was aware of the incident.

"Nigerian army," she tweeted, "do you have facts on the allegations of abduction of 94 daughters of Nigeria from their Boarding School- Government Girls Science and Technical Secondary School, Dapchi Yobe state after a Boko Haram attack?

"Are you in strong pursuit of their abductors if true?"

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