Providence appears to have prevented a possible massacre at the Government Girls Science Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, when suspected terrorists of Boko Haram struck at the institution on Monday, reports said yesterday.
A split second decision by the principal of the school did the magic.
Highly placed sources revealed that as soon as the principal heard the sound of a gunshot, he instinctively suspected that danger was lurking around.
He quickly ordered the students -926 of them –home, remembering perhaps, the killing of 29 students of the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi also in Yobe State by Boko Haram on February 24, 2014.
The gunmen struck at about 7pm.
The college authorities are working around the clock to ascertain the actual figure of students regarded by the military, police and security agencies as “unaccounted. ”
Sources said a detailed report of the invasion has been submitted to the government.
“A preliminary report indicated that the suspected insurgents stormed the school between 7pm and 8pm in military camouflage,” one of the sources said.
“They were suspected to have been lurking around in disguise with the ultimate target of striking at night in the college.
“Upon hearing of gunshots heralding their coming, the principal suspected that something was amiss in Dapchi. To prevent a reoccurrence of the massacre at the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, he quickly asked the girls to go home. They quickly vacated the school.
“This was why it was possible for most of the 926 girls to escape. Actually by the time the insurgents stormed the school, it was empty.
“But it is not impossible that the insurgents accosted some of the girls while scampering to safety through different paths.
“From the school’s account, the principal took the steps to avoid the girls being slaughtered because security was limited to school guards who cannot confront the insurgents,” the source said.
It was learnt that the military and security agencies are still combing access routes to Sambisa Forest, suspected make-shift camps of Boko Haram and other neighbouring villages and towns.
The source added: “We are leaving all options open in locating the girls who by our profile are rated as ‘unaccounted.’
“The principal and the school management have been given time till Monday to reach out to parents to compile the list and determine if or not their wards have not been located.”
It was gathered that the Federal Government was screening a claim that some insurgents are demanding ransom as a precondition for releasing the girls.
“I think the purported ransom claim was being touted by someone but we may screen or vet the call.
“No insurgent group has admitted abducting the girls and none reached out to the government. Wherever such a claim of ransom is coming from, we will screen or verify the source,” said the source.