The Sun News

Dapchi abduction: Parents welcome negotiation option

• As BBOG gives FG 7 days to rescue schoolgirls

Parents of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls in Yobe State, yesterday, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for considering the option of negotiation, against the use of military force, to rescue the girls.

The parents,  in Damaturu, said the option gave them hope on the safe return of the girls.

Chairman of the parents association of the abducted schoolgirls, Alhaji Bashir Manzo, said, “This is a welcome development and we are happy about it.

“Use of force, as the only option, will result in death of many of the girls, while negotiation provides for their safe return.”

The chairman, who encouraged government to go for dialogue to hasten the return of the girls, said “the fact that the insurgents provided room for negotiation gives us hope for the safe return of our daughters.”

Alhaji Baba Shehu, secretary, Dapchi Youth Development Association, also described the negotiation option as a healthy development.

“Government should deploy resources at its disposal to take this advantage and ensure the safe return of the girls,” he said.

Alhaji Ali Mohammed, father of eight of the missing students, described negotiation as the only safe option for the insurgents to release the girls, saying he was happy “government has considered this option of negotiation.”

Malam Mustapha Imam, another parent, said, “If government had resorted to military option alone, it may jeopardize the safety of the girls, so the option of negotiation is a welcome development.”

He, however, called on government to take strong precautionary measures in safeguarding every school in the country, especially those in the NorthEast.

“Government has to invest heavily in security, especially in equipment, manpower and intelligence gathering, for improved security,” Imam said.

President Buhari, on Monday, while receiving US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said the federal government had considered the option of negotiation to rescue the abducted students.

Meanwhile, the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement has given the federal government seven days to rescue the abducted schoolgirls.

A total of 110 students of Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, were declared missing after Boko Haram insurgents attacked their school in February.

The incident happened four years after the insurgents kidnapped 276  female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.

The BBOG said it was “infuriated” by the circumstances that led to both abductions.

In a statement issued yesterday, the group said Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, would lead a legal team to sue the federal government “for the negligence that has led to the abductions.”

Falana joined the group at its sit-out in Abuja, calling for the release of the girls.

The group posed some questions to the federal government regarding the kidnapping, including: “How is it that, nearly four years since the abduction of our Chibok girls, we are faced with yet another similar tragedy by the repeat abductions of schoolgirls in the Dapchi girls’ tragedy?

“How is it possible that a terrorist group that we were informed to have been completely defeated was able to abduct 110 Dapchi girls?

“How were the school and community left to be vulnerable to this tragedy? What happened to the Safe Schools Initiative that was signed on by the Federal Government in 2014 and to which it committed $10 million alongside other donations by several donors, including the international community?

“Why was there a deliberate attempt by the federal government to cover up the abduction through false reports and claims of rescue?”

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