Chairman of the forum of parents of the missing girls, Bashir Manzo, who said he was not aware of the meeting in Damaturu, denied knowledge of the figure of 110 announced by the minister in Damaturu.
“I am not aware of the meeting in Damaturu. No one informed us here in Dapchi that a meeting would hold As far as our record here is concerned, we still have 105, but if they have additional names to what we had first established, fine and good.”
Alhaji Mohammed, on Sunday, in a statement issued by his media aide had said:
“The Federal Government has confirmed that 110 students of the Government Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State, are so far unaccounted for, after insurgents believed to be from a faction of Boko Haram invaded their school on Monday (19 February, 2018).
“The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, announced the figure after a meeting between a Federal Government delegation and representatives of key stakeholders, including the state government, the college, the parents, security agencies and Bursari Local Government, where Dapchi is situated, in Damaturu on Sunday.”
These came on a day President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja, explained that the rescue of the three staff of University of Maiduguri and 10 women abducted by Boko Haram insurgents was protracted because government was dealing with two different insurgent groups working at different locations, even as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, called on the National Assembly to thoroughly investigate the abduction of the Dapchi school gils.
Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had said, Sunday in Damaturu, shortly after a meeting with Governor Ibrahim Geidam, and other stakeholders at the state Government House, that the Federal government had now confirmed that 110 of the girls were missing, in the wake of Boko Haram’s attack on the school penultimate Monday.
“There was no doubt that the insurgents were in Dapchi and as at today, we cannot account for 110 girls.
“Because the total register of the students that came to school that day was 906 but as at today (Sunday), about 110 of them cannot be accounted for and that is the situation,” the minister had said at a news briefing after the meeting.
But parents of the girls, yesterday, challenged the Federal Government to explain how it came about the 110 figure it dished out to the public.
They had earlier, last week, said 105 of the students were unaccounted for, and wondered how the figure came to 110.
Chairman of the forum of parents of the missing girls, Bashir Manzo, who said he was not aware of the meeting in Damaturu, denied knowledge of the new figure announced by the minister in Damaturu.
“I am not aware of the meeting in Damaturu. No one informed us here in Dapchi that a meeting would hold. As far as our record here is concerned, we still have 105, but if they have additional names to what we had first established, fine and good. We are happy no one is saying the figure is less than what we’ve had.”
Some parents have threatened to withdraw their children from the school, since government could no longer guarantee their safety.
One of the parents, Mallam Modu Mustapha, whose two daughters were abducted, lamented the inability of security agencies to rescue the students and threatened to withdraw his children from the school, if and when they were found.
He advised government to always verify its facts before informing the public to avoid misleading information on the part of the abducted girls.
Similarly, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, urged the National Assembly to urgently open a full scale investigation into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate abduction of the students.
The party said such investigation had become necessary due to rising speculations and “conspiracy theories in the public space, fuelled by conflicting reports, attempts at cover-up and disagreements among government officials and agencies regarding the ugly incident.”