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Military, police, PDP differ over Amnesty report on Dapchi schoolgirls


PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus<br />

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has dismissed the Amnesty International (AI) report indicting security forces over the abduction of the 110 students of Government Girls Secondary Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, in Yobe State by Boko Haram terrorists.

The global agency had on Monday said security agencies were alerted but reportedly failed to respond.

But in a statement yesterday in Abuja by its spokesman, Brig. Gen John Agim, DHQ insisted that “no security force was informed of Dapchi schoolgirls’ abduction as alleged by the AI.”


It went on: “The public and the international community should know that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is a professional military and has attained the highest form of professionalism in line with international best practices and so could not have acted the way the organisation claimed.”

Also, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has absolved the force of any wrong in the kidnap, adding that the Police Mobile Force (PMF) would be deployed in all the schools in the North East to forestall future occurrences.

During a meeting with Squadron, Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) and Special Protection Unit (SPU) and Commanders in Abuja yesterday, Idris said: “You are all aware of the abduction of Dapchi schoolgirls by this horrible Boko Haram in Yobe State.  Though not the fault of the police, the incident was a national embarrassment.”

But the main opposition political group in the country, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), disagreed, describing the revelation as heart-rending, distressing and disappointing.

It said the report vindicates its stance that President Muhammadu Buhari and his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) must be held responsible for the abduction and other criminal activities in the land, especially in the northern region.

In a statement in Abuja, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, commended AI for its courage, adding that the document further underpins speculations of conspiracy around the abduction and places a huge moral burden on the presidency.

The statement reads in part: “This revelation by the Amnesty International has finally exposed the Buhari-led Federal Government and its manifest failures, deceptions and culpability in the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate abduction of our daughters.

“The world can now see why the presidency and the APC have been suppressing information on the abduction and why no firm steps have been taken to unravel the real reasons behind security lapses like the withdrawal of troops from the area as well as those behind the false rescue report, which frustrated the genuine effort to save our daughters.”

The opposition party noted that “this report indeed places a direct question on President Buhari as the chief security officer of the nation, especially in the face of his multifarious failures to effectively oversee routine security actions, particularly in troubled areas.”

PDP continued: “From the AI report, it is clear that if the troops guiding the area, under the command of the Federal Government, were not withdrawn, and if President Buhari had effectively monitored the situation and implemented the Safe School Initiative, introduced in the wake of the 2014 Chibok abduction, the Dapchi schoolgirls would not have been abducted.”

It therefore urged the National Assembly to conduct an independent, comprehensive and system-wide inquest to unravel the truth about the abduction, adding that Nigerians still believe that there was more to the saga.

However, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has condemned the insecurity in the North, saying the region could no longer suffer the plague.
It therefore called on the President to immediately end the killings and kidnapping of women and children in the zone.

The forum’s chairman and former Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Ahmadu Coomassie, expressed the need to overcome the security crisis threatening the nation democracy since the return of democratic rule in 1999.

Speaking when the leadership of Jam’iyya Matan Arewa (JMA) visited the National Working Committee (NWC) of the organisation yesterday in Kaduna to discuss how to protect children and women from the incessant attacks besetting the region, Coomassie stated that the nation could not survive without the North, hence, the need for the regional leaders to put heads together in saving the zone from activities that portray it in bad light.

His words: “We all know that without the North, Nigeria can never survive. We still stand by it. But now, is the time to walk the talk in the interest of our people.

Chibok girls are still missing. Now it has gone to Dapchi in Yobe State, what happened?

“Are we always going to be the victims? Boko Haram, see what they did to the North East. They have spread over to the central and even to the southern part of the country.

Earlier, the chairperson of JMA, Aishatu Pamela Saduki, represented by Hajiya Aliko Muhammed, said the visit was to plead the course of women and children especially in the northern part of the country.

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