Ninety four students are missing after suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked a girls’ secondary school in Yobe state Monday night.
The attack on Government Girls Secondary School Dapchi came after sunset when some of the students were breaking their fast which they usually observe on Mondays.
A source in the school told Daily Trust yesterday that the number of missing students was established in the afternoon after a head count.
“After the roll call, 610 out the total number of 704 students have returned. We are still searching for the remaining 94 students”, he said.
On whether the students were abducted, he said: “We cannot say, because the insurgents went into the students’ hostel, and many of these students scaled the fence and escaped into the bushes. No one can tell if they are abducted or not.”
He said some parents had reported to the school authorities that their children, who fled into the bushes, had returned home safely.
“We are calling on parents to help the school update its list by reporting immediately their children arrived home safely”, he said.
The Yobe State Police Commissioner Abdumaliki Sunmonu said no case of abduction had been established yet.
The State Commissioner of Education, Lawan Ali, who is outside the state for official assignment, said senior officials from the ministry had been dispatched to the school.
“The team is profiling the students to know those who are missing? And, how many of them were able to return or ran home to their families,” he said.
The attack evoked memories of the kidnapping of 276 girls from Chibok Girls Secondary School by the insurgents on April 14, 2014.
A teacher in the school, who escaped the attack, said the insurgents stormed the school around 7:00pm through the eastern part of the town.
Parent besiege school as early as 6am
Parents besieged the school as early as 6:00am to know the whereabouts of their children.
One of the parents, Lamuwa Yadi, said he has two daughters in the school but could only find one of them. "We have no idea where she’s now, her sister said they were at the hall when the insurgents struck, and it was the last time she saw her.
"We are calling on the state and the federal government to act fast before it gets worst."
A mother of one of the students, Amina Usama, who could not trace her daughter, said she cannot forgive herself at the turn of event.
"I forced her to go back to school against her wish, unknown to me that this calamity is awaiting her here. My daughter always complained that there was no security in the school", she said
Government shuts down school
The Yobe State government has closed the school for one week and send the students home so as ease tension
Announcing the closure, the state commissioner of Education, Alhaji Mohammed Lamin, who was represented by his permanent secretary, called on the parents to take solace as the government is doing its best to search for the missing students.
He said that over ninety percent of the students have returned to the school while others have reached their parent safely.
Students vows not to return
Some of the students told Daily Trust that they would not return to the school until government stations security operatives in the school.
Maimuna Lawan, an SSS3 student said the insurgents stormed the gate around 6:30pm, “They were shouting that we should not run. We got terrified by the gunshots and scale the fence, we are not sure if they abducted some student but we suspected they did because, they were calling some students when I ran away"
Meanwhile the Local Government chairman, Alhaji Zannah said he had sent security personnel to trace those still missing "We believed they are in the bush and we will intensify our search until we find them, God willing" he said.
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