Abduction of Dapchi schoolgirls: Nigerian army, police trade blame

Abduction of Dapchi schoolgirls: Nigerian army, police trade blame

- The Nigeria Police Force has reacted to a statement released by the Nigerian army over the abduction of schoolgirls in Dapchi

- The police claimed the army's statement of formally handing over Dapchi town to the Nigeria Police Division in Dapchi is not correct

- In reaction, army spokesperson, Onyema Nwachukwu, said the Nigerian army will not participate in trading blames

The Nigeria Police Force on the evening of Monday, February 26, reacted to a statement earlier released by the Nigerian army claiming that the security of Dapchi town was handed over to the police before the army withdrew its troops.

Legit.ng had earlier reported that about 110 girls were abducted from a secondary school in Dapchi, Yobe state.

The state governor, Ibrahim Geidam, claimed that the abduction occurred shortly after the army strangely withdrew its troops from the town.

The army, however, in its statement claimed that said troops were redeployed from Dapchi after relative peace had been achieved to other places to consolidate on the fight against Boko Haram. It also claimed that the security of the town was handed over to the Nigeria Police Division in the town before the troops were moved out.

However, Yobe state police commissioner, Sunmonu Abdulmaliki, in a statement sent to Legit.ng said that no such former handing over occurred and the army's statement was a way to put the blame on the police.

Abdulmaliki said: “The statement by the military of formal handing over of Dapchi town to the Nigeria Police Division in Dapchi is not correct. There was no time that the military informed the police of their withdrawal, consulted or handed over their locations in Dapchi town to the police.

“The whole of Yobe state is still under security emergency which the police, the military and other security agencies are battling to ensure lasting peace. Members of the public in Yobe state are implored to disregard and discountenance this claim that the military formally handed the security of Dapchi town to the Nigeria Police as untrue, unfounded and misleading."

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When contacted with the police statement on the issue, the army spokesperson, Onyema Nwachukwu, said the Nigerian army will not participate in trading blames.

He said: “Our role is to defend the territorial integrity of the country. It’s the role of the sister security agencies to protect the civilian population whenever we have liberated a community from insurgents. If the commissioner says they were not told to take charge of the security, does that mean they abandoned all the checkpoints the soldiers had in place before they were moved to Kanama?

“What role did the police play when Boko Haram entered the community? How did the police respond to the terrorists? We’ve been in Malamfatori, Lake Chad, Gashigar and Sambisa, but the police cannot enter all these places. Again, we’re not interested in a blame game, but the police should know that they’re supposed to take charge of an area that has been liberated by the military.”

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“Our roles should be complementary: After we’ve liberated a town, sister agencies should immediately take charge of security there.”

Legit.ng previously reported that Shehu Sani, the senator representing Kaduna central at the national assembly has criticised the recent abduction of students from Government Science Technical School, Dapchi, Yobe.

The senator said the abduction has reversed some of the gains in the war against Boko Haram insurgents.

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Source: Legit Newspaper

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