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Dapchi: Muslim groups back probe on troops’ withdrawal

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•Condemn attack

Prominent Islamic organisations – The Muslim Congress (TMC) and Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) yesterday condemned the abduction of 110 girls of Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State last Monday, describing the incident as unfortunate.

Prof Ishaq Akintola, Director, MURIC,  said the attack has exposed Boko Haram terrorists as a despicable bunch of cowards who turn their guns on unarmed innocent girls and the most vulnerable members of society.

Soldiers (R) drive past a signpost leading to the Government Girls Science and Technical College staff quarters in Dapchi, Nigeria, on February 22, 2018.
Anger erupted in a town in remote northeast Nigeria on February 22 after officials fumbled to account for scores of schoolgirls from the college who locals say have been kidnapped by Boko Haram jihadists. Police said on February 21 that 111 girls from the college were unaccounted for following a jihadist raid late on February 19. Hours later, Abdullahi Bego, spokesman for Yobe state governor Ibrahim Gaidam, said “some of the girls” had been rescued by troops “from the terrorists who abducted them”. But on a visit to Dapchi on Thursday, Gaidam appeared to question whether there had been any abduction. / AFP PHOTO /

Akintola said: “Once again, Boko Haram terrorists have proved that they have nothing in common with Nigerian Muslims. The abduction of Dapchi school girls is a flagrant violation of Islamic rules of engagement which forbid attacks on women, children and old people during hostilities. Islamic rules concerning wars are so humane that even trees and livestock belonging to the enemy must be spared.

“The forceful kidnap of 276 Chibok girls on April 14, 2014 readily comes to mind and the various acts of forceful conversion and marriage of some of the girls remain objectionable, and alien to the tenets of Islam.

“Nonetheless, MURIC is worried by the similarity in coincidental circumstances in the Chibok and Dapchi abductions. Both attacks occurred a week after troops was withdrawn from the towns. Even the 2013 massacre of 29 students in a secondary school in Buni Yadi by Boko Haram a week after the withdrawal of troops arouses our curiosity .

“It is our contention that whereas Boko Haram has been technically defeated, the military has inadvertently allowed the insurgents to gain the upper hand in wits. There is ample evidence to prove that the insurgents spy on Nigerian troops and launch attacks during periods of complacency.  We should have known that it is not over until it is over.

TMC President Dr Lukman AbdurRaheem said it is disheartening when those abducted in Chibok have not been fully released.

AbdurRaheem said: “A thousand and one questions beg for answers! Are politicians playing politics with our lives?  Where is the Governor as the Chief Security Officer of Yobe with huge security vote? Is the Police Commissioner sleeping? Where were the military men seconded to that axis?  Is this a case of the fifth columnist in action?

He blamed the military for abandoning that spot and allowed the enemies of the state to gain to upper hand in the battle for control.

“The incident calls for urgent investigation. TMC advises Federal Government to be courageous by using a 15-day ultimatum to the military and other security agencies to return all the missing girls. We believe it has enough personnel, intelligence and firepower than the dissidents that carried out this crime,” he said.


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