Security

UN demands release of 110 Dapchi schoolgirls

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The United Nations (UN) yesterday demanded that the abductors of the 110 pupils of the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State should release them immediately.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he “very much hopes that the perpetrators will be brought to justice, and just as importantly, that the girls will be found and returned to safety”.

“I think the fact that these young women were abducted in an educational setting, where they should have been safe, where they should feel safe, just adds to the horror of the story.”

On Wednesday in Abuja, National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno inaugurated a 12-man panel to look into the circumstances leading to the kidnap of the girls, which he said  did not portray Nigeria in good light.

Monguno said: “The abduction of the schoolgirls by the terrorists is a worrisome incident that requires deliberate, urgent and relentless efforts on the part of government.

“There has been conflicting reports from various quarters on the event that led to the abduction, the number of persons abducted, as well as their identity.

“This does not portray the country in good light. There have also been reports, especially in the social media, which tend to support some level of inactivity by relevant organisations.

“Therefore, there is a need to verify the circumstances surrounding the abduction of these girls from the Government Girls Secondary School.”

Monguno listed the committee’s terms of reference. They are:

  • determine the circumstances surrounding the abduction of the students from the school on the 18th of February;
  • determine the exact number of persons abducted alongside their identity as there are conflicting reports in this regard;
  • confirm the presence, composition, scale and disposition of security emplaced in Dapchi, as well as the school itself before the incident;
  • ascertain the existing communication in the Dapchi and their functionality;
  • suggest measures that can lead to the location and immediate rescue of the abducted girls; and
  • to recommend measure to be emplaced in preventing future occurrences, and any other detail the committee may deem necessary.

“Considering the importance of the issue and the urgency required to promptly address the terms of reference and associated concerns, you are to commence sitting immediately and submit your report to me in two weeks, “ Monguno told the committee.

He urged the members “to be objective in their findings in order to address this ugly development”.

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