YOBE – Forty-eight of the missing 94 pupils of the Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, have come out of hiding.
The Yobe State Commissioner for Education, Mohammed Lamin, who stated this in Damaturu, added that the state government had organised search parties to look for the remaining 46 pupils.
The Busari Local Government Area, where the attack happened is 100 kilometres away from Damaturu, the Yobe State capital.
Lamin explained that the school registered 28 missing students that returned on Tuesday, saying 20 more were received from Magwaram village on Wednesday.
He said, “This has brought down the number of missing pupils from 94 to 48 as of this morning (Wednesday). We are still hopeful that more pupils will return soon.”
The commissioner asked parents to report to the school whenever their children arrived home.
An anonymous source in the school told our correspondent that the 28 students that returned were rescued by villagers from bushes around Dapchi town.
The source said, “Some of the children trekked between 15 and 20 kilometres in the bush to save their lives. We have also received calls from Fulani settlements that they are bringing more students they found in the bush.”
“So far, no dead body has been recovered, but we heard that one pupil was bitten by a snake. She was said to have been treated locally. But she would be taken to a hospital in Damaturu for proper attention.”
It was gathered that a combined team of security operatives had been drafted to the area to search for the remaining missing students.
The Yobe Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, charged the military and other security outfits to ensure that none of the pupil was lost.
The governor in a statement by his spokesman, Abdullahi Bego, said, “The Yobe State Government is working with the Nigerian Army and other security and law enforcement agencies to ensure that all students in the school are fully accounted for.
“As the public is aware, the pupils were helped by their teachers to escape to the surrounding bushes and villages as terrorists stormed the town on Monday.
“Many pupils are still unaccounted for, but the Yobe State Government has been receiving the girls that were found in the general area to which they escaped.
“The government is coordinating with law enforcement agencies to ensure that those girls are returned safely.”
“The Yobe State Government has no credible information as to whether any of the schoolgirls was taken hostage by the terrorists.
“The Yobe State Government assures parents and the school community that it will do everything necessary to ensure that all the missing girls are found and returned to their school and families and that security is improved in the area.”
The state government, in another statement send around 10pm, said more pupils had been rescued by by “gallant officers and men of the Nigerian Army from the terrorists who abducted them.”
The government further stated that the “rescued girls are now in the custody of the Nigerian Army.”
“We will provide more details about their number and condition in due course,” the statement added.