The recent abduction of 110 girls of Government Technical Secondary School (GTSS) in Dapchi, Yobe State is embarrassing, shocking and a dent on the image of the ruling government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The unfortunate incident had not only rubbished efforts of the various security operations set up in the country under several code names by both the States and the Federal Governments, but has also made most Nigerians to be thinking that the setting up of such operations is just a smoke screen and the money allocated and being allocated to these security operations is a drain pipe.
On February 19, 2018, 110 female students of the Government Technical Secondary School (GTSS) in Dapchi, Yobe were abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents. Since then, there have been series of accusations and counter-accusations between the security operatives and the Yobe State government.
The abduction of the Dapchi school girls came after over four years the Chibok school girls in Borno State were kidnapped by the same grup of terrorists and several weeks after the killings of Benue people.
While we commend the Federal Government for its prompt response to the dastardly act through setting up of a 12-man committee to investigate the matter and the visit of government officials to Dapchi for on-the-spot assessment of the unfortunate incident.
The committee, which was convened by the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), comprises one senior Provost each from the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force; representatives of the National Intelligence Agency; Defence Intelligence Agency; Nigeria Police Force; Department of State Services; Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; two representatives of the Yobe State Government and a representative of the Office of the National Security Adviser.
The terms of reference of the committee include ascertaining the circumstances surrounding the abduction of the girls; confirming the presence, composition, scale and disposition of security in place in Dapchi, as well as in the GGSTC before the incident and suggesting measures that can lead to the location and rescue of the girls
We call for thorough investigation of the dastardly act in order to fish out and rescue the abducted girls life. This has become necessary because Nigerians are tired of another waiting game on the release of the school girls as it is the case of with the Chibok girls since 2014.
Nigerians are still wondering why it was not too long after the withdrawal if the military troops that the abduction of the 110 Dapchi school girls took place. What has also been baffling Nigerians is the non-response of the Presidency to who actually authorized the withdrawal of the troops for easy abduction of the innocent girls from their school by the Boko Haram insurgents?
The Yobe State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, who is a member ruling APC at the centre, had actually attributed the successful abduction of the girls to the military withdrawal, adding that there was a precedence in 2013 that gave credence to his argument.
Gaidam had pointed out: “I blame the whole attack on Dapchi on the military and the defence headquarters who withdrew troops from Dapchi. The attack occurred barely a week after the military withdrew the soldiers from there.
“Let me be quoted anywhere, the military must take blame for the attack on Dapchi. The same thing happened in 2013 when the military suddenly removed troops guarding the town and a week later, Boko Haram went there to attack the town and the secondary school there killing 29 students”.
It has also been reported that several cases of adductions of pupils and other criminal activities had taken place in Yobe State in the past unreported. For instance, in 2014, 58 male pupils of the College of Agriculture, Buni Yadi were murdered while they were asleep.
The silence of the Presidency on this particular issue of withdrawal of military troops after which the Dapchi school girls were kidnapped is a big poser not only for President Buhari but for heads of other security operatives in the area.
Nevertheless, while we totally agree that the abduction of the Dapchi school girls and others before them is the failure of government to cater for the citizenry, we also believe that the ugly incident is an indication that our security system is seriously in trouble.
Beyond the blame game, what Nigerians expect is the immediate rescue of the Dapchi girls and that it should not go the way of the Chibok girls, some of who are still in den of their abductors.
This is absolutely necessary because nobody should be allowed to play politics with the lives of the innocent school girls. The earlier the Federal Government and other stakeholders do it the better.
One of the promises the present APC government made to Nigerians in 2015 was adequate provision of security of lives and property for the Nigerians. Government, therefore, should not waiver on this and this should be its watchword to curb the lingering cases of insecurity in the country.
This is imperative because most Nigerians think that with the ongoing level of insecurity here and there in the country vis-avis huge amount of money being earmarked for the security operatives to address the menace, it seems the security agencies and the government are not on the same page security wise.
We urge both the Federal Governments and security agencies to do everything possible to ensure that the Dapchi school girls, the Chibok girls (whose rescue is long overdue since 2014) and others being held captive by the Boko Haram insurgents are rescued alive in no distant time.
For a better society.