Three days after a suspected Boko Haram assault on a high school in Yobe state, the police and the state government have provided different figures of the number of missing girls. While the police commissioner yesterday evening said 30 female students were yet to be accounted for, the state government released a statement saying over 50 students were yet to be located as at yesterday afternoon. The girls were students of the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Bursari local government area, a state government-owned school.
The uncertainty came as President Muhammadu Buhari asked three ministers to immediately visit the state for an urgent assessment of the situation. He also asked the military and other federal security agencies to take maximum charge of the security situation around the affected community.
Suspected Boko Haram operatives on Monday stormed the school, carting away foodstuff amongst other valuables. Reports also emerged that the insurgents seized scores of girls at the school, although official confirmation of this had been difficult. It was gathered from the police that some of the students have not been found “The total number of students at the school is 906.
As at yesterday, we had counted 809. After that, we started locating them in one or two but the school authorities have not been able to account for 30 students,” Yobe police commissioner, Sunmonu Abdulmaliki, said yesterday evening. But the police chief warned that the public should not take this to mean that they were kidnapped, saying “it is not impossible that some of them even left for home without telling the school authorities.”
However, the state government spokesperson, Abdullahi Bego said the state did not know the whereabouts of 50 girls, but also warned that it should not be misconstrued as an admission that they were kidnapped. “Out of the 926 students in the school, over 50 are still unaccounted for as of the time of this statement,” Bego said in a statement.