African Press Association

Officials play blame game over kidnapping of Nigeria girls

From EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – EFFORTS to rescue more than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria have degenerated into confusion with authorities trading blame on the abduction of the minors.

Ibrahim Gaidam, Executive Governor of the Yobe State, alleged the withdrawal of the military was responsible for the recent attack at the Government Girls Science Technical College in Dapchi.
This has prompted an angry response from the military.

“This allegation is not only unfortunate but also very far from the truth,” said Onyema Nwachukwu, the Deputy Director Public Relations of the military’s Operation Lafiya Dole (Peace by Force).

Nwachukwu said troops had been redeployed to other areas afflicted by the Boko Haram on the premise that Dapchi had been relatively calm.

He argued the town was formally handed over to the Nigeria Police Division located in the town.

“Troops’ redeployment was therefore done in tandem with the exigencies of operation and not as misconstrued,” Nwachukwu said.

However, the Yobe State Police Command has denied the military did not formally hand over the security of Dapchi.

Sumonu Abdulmaliki, Yobe Commissioner, the statement by the military was incorrect and untrue.

“Members of the public in Yobe are implored to disregard and discountenance this claim that the military formally handed the security of Dapchi town to the Nigeria Police as untrue, unfounded and misleading,” Abdulmaliki said.

Efforts to rescue the school girls were ongoing but locals were pessimistic of the prospects of the girl’s freedom following the Boko Haram’s abduction of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, also in northestern Nigeria in 2014.

Over 100 of the Chibok scholars remain missing.
– CAJ News