Dapchi Girls: Military Justifies Troops Withdrawal before Boko Haram Attack
Nigerian military authorities explained why troops deployed to Dapchi town, Yobe State were withdrawn shortly before Monday, February 19 invasion and kidnap of over 100 girls from a school in the community by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.
In this respect, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations and spokesperson for Operation Lafiya Dole, the code name for Nigerian military operations against insurgency in North east, made the explanation on Monday in response to claim by Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe that the withdrawal of troops was responsible for Boko Haram attack and abduction of female students from Government Girls Science Technical College in Dapchi.
"This allegation is not only unfortunate but also very far from the truth," the Army spokesperson claimed in a statement.
While explaining reasons for the withdrawal, Colonel Nwachukwu said soldiers earlier deployed in Dapchi were redeployed for reinforcement duty at Kanama following attacks on troops' location at the Nigerian border.
Meanwhile, anger has been growing among the girls' parents amid reports that soldiers had been withdrawn from key checkpoints in Dapchi last month.
Dapchi, some 275km north-west of Chibok, came under attack last Monday, causing students and teachers from the Government Girls Science and Technical College to flee into the surrounding bush.
Residents narrated that Nigeria's security forces, backed by military jets, later repelled the attack.
Although authorities initially denied the students had been kidnapped, saying they were hiding from their attackers, they later admitted that 110 girls were missing after the attack.
Boko Haram terrorists have been fighting a long insurgency in the country's north in their quest for a so-called ‘Islamic state' in the region.
Nearly four years ago they abducted 276 girls from a school in Chibok, leading to a worldwide #BringBackOurGirls campaign. The location of more than 100 of those girls is still unknown.
The conflict is estimated to have claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people, and led to the abduction of thousands others.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team