22 February 2018

Nigeria: BBOG Speaks On Abduction of Yobe Schoolgirls

The Bring Back our Girls Group, BBOG, has urged the federal government to give accurate details of the number of school-girls recently declared missing in Yobe State after their school was invaded by suspected Boko Haram insurgents.

The group which has been, through daily sit-ins and protests, championing the return of 276 Chibok school-girls abducted by insurgents in April 2014 also wants details of the rescue efforts in the latest abduction so far revealed.

The Government Girls Science Technical College in Dapchi, Bursari Local Government Area, of Yobe State was attacked on Monday by the insurgents.

The state government on Wednesday evening said that over 50 of the schoolgirls were yet to be accounted for; while the police said 30 were not accounted for.

However, in a follow-up statement late on Wednesday night, the government said "some of the missing girls had been rescued by soldiers."

The group said it will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure that it is not mismanaged as in the case of the Chibok girls.

Initial denials and lethargy on the part of the government during the Chibok saga have been identified as prime reasons why the Chibok school-girls captured in 2014 were not immediately rescued. Scores of the Chibok girls remain in captivity till date.

"Our movement was made aware and has been closely monitoring the news of the abduction of Government Girls Science Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State on Monday 19 February 2018.

"There have been conflicting reports on the incidence among state and federal institutions and officials. This draws dreadful and eerie similarities with the confusion that surrounded official communication following the abduction of our #ChibokGirls on 14th April 2014 who have remained with the Boko Haram terrorists for 1, 410 days today.

"Our Movement welcomes the news that some of the abductees have been rescued by the Nigeria Army. However, the limited information so far offered the public on the attack of their school and the girls' rescue clearly raise crucial questions that demand prompt answers: How is it that a terrorist group said to have been defeated able to abduct in the range of 100 schoolgirls? How many precisely were abducted, how many are back, and how many are in captivity? Can the names of these 3 categories of victims be published for purposes of clarity and accountability? Has contact been made with the parents and families of our Dapchi girls? Are they able to verify all information put out by the state?," a statement signed by Sesugh Akume, the BBOG spokesperson read in part.

It said it will keep security operatives on their toes until all missing girls are accounted for.

"We call on the federal government, the Yobe state government and the Nigerian military, the Nigeria Police Force, and other relevant authorities to promptly investigate this with utmost sense of urgency, and ensure to communicate factually to avert the tragedy of #ChibokGirls abduction. Our movement will continue to monitor events as they unfold and shall respond accordingly."

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