The Defence Headquarters, on Saturday, denied that troops withdrew a few days before the abduction of schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe State.
It explained that the troops were located just 30 kilometres from the school.
The Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. John Agim, in a text message to one of our correspondents, said there was no truth in the allegation that the military withdrew a few hours to the attack.
Agim said, “There is no truth in the allegation because the military has been in a location that is about 30 kilometres to the school.”
Efforts to get the spokesperson for the Nigeria Police Force, Moshood Jimoh, did not succeed as he neither returned calls to his mobile nor responded to an SMS sent to him.
A national newspaper had reported on Saturday that the Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, said security men withdrew from Dapchi a few hours to the attack.
Gaidam stated this when the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, paid him a visit in Damaturu, the state capital.
The Boko Haram insurgents, who abducted the girls, were reported to have arrived at Dapchi at 7pm on Monday and left at 9pm.
Abduction threatens girlchild education —Senate Leader
Meanwhile, the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan (Yobe-North), in an interview with Sunday PUNCH said the terrorists must have struck when they saw that security in Dapchi was relaxed.
He expressed concerns that the attack was a setback to girlchild education because many girls would be reluctant to go to school.
Lawan said, “It is a very sad development for us. Of course, the parents will be sad. They will be traumatised by this development like all of us, and the state government is doing everything possible to get across to the parents.
“What happened was not expected. After the Chibok incidence, we thought that we would have taken every measure possible to ensure that there is no recurrence of the abduction of our students, especially girls.
“In a place like Yobe, we need everything possible to encourage girlchild education. And if this kind of thing is happening, the implication is that parents will become reluctant to send their daughters to school.
“The girls may be also be scared to go to school. We really need to catch up in terms of education.”
Also, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim (Yobe East) called for more time to get the true number of those abducted.
“Honestly, I still don’t have any reliable figure. There are conflicting figures from the left, right and centre. I just hope that in the next one or two days, this will be clarified,” he said.
The lawmaker said he had been relying on his wife, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadija Abba Ibrahim, who is one of the three ministers that President Muhammadu Buhari sent to Yobe, for information.
FG plans to beef up security in schools
In the mean time, the Federal Government on Saturday said it planned to improve security system in schools to curb terror attacks.
The Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, listed limited budgetary allocation and the number of schools as problems that must be addressed before such a plan could be actualised.
The minister said, “The problem is that we have many schools spread all over the country and we have a very limited budget for the schools. But we are doing the best we can.
“There are plans to provide better security for the schools. We have a lot of things in the pipeline to do.”