Hundreds of girls have refused to return to their school in
northeast Nigeria because of security fears following a mass
kidnapping by Boko Haram jihadists, parents and teachers said on
Jihadists stormed the Government Girls Technical College in
Dapchi on February 19, seizing 111 schoolgirls in a carbon copy of
the abduction in Chibok in 2014 that caused global outrage.
All but six of the Dapchi girls were returned to the school just
over a month later. Five died in captivity while the only Christian
among them is still being held.
The school re-opened on April 30 but one teacher, who asked not
to be identified for fear of official sanctions, said most pupils
have stayed away because they were still afraid.
We have a total student population of 989, and out of that
number only 314 have resumed after we reopened. Of the 314 that
returned, 299 are writing their final examinations and will be
leaving school in July, he said.
So, technically, we can say only 15 students have resumed, who
will be continuing their education here.
Bashir Manzo, who headed the abducted girls parents association,
said children were being kept at home because of a lack of security
There are only a handful of soldiers and vigilantes guarding the
school, not more than 25 in all, a number grossly inadequate to
protect our daughters, he told AFP.
We believe even the 15 girls that returned will go back home
once their seniors finish their examinations and leave.
The education commissioner for Yobe state, Mohammed Lamin,
angrily dismissed parents concerns and said everything humanly
possible had been done to make the school safe.
We deployed soldiers, police, civil defence paramilitary and
vigilantes to the school providing security 24 hours, he said.
How can they say security is inadequate? Do they have such level
of security in their homes?
Security has been an issue in Dapchi since it emerged that
soldiers had been withdrawn before the kidnapping and claims that
warnings about Boko Harams arrival went unheeded.
Some children who escaped the abduction vowed never to
Another parent, Kachalla Bukar, said there were now even fewer
troops in the remote town, which lies some 100 kilometres (62.5
miles) north of the state capital, Damaturu.
The route through which the kidnappers came in and out of the
town is still without military or police presence, he said. This
route leads up to Chad....