Soldiers fled when they sighted Boko Haram convoy – Dapchi resident

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Abubakar Mohammed, a resident of Dapchi, headquarters of Busari local government in Yobe state, say soldiers at a checkpoint in the town fled when Boko Haram fighters returned the kidnapped schoolgirls on Wednesday morning.

The students of Government Secondary Science and Technical College, Dapchi were abducted on February 19.

It was reported that the insurgents brought the girls back in the same vehicles which they used in conveying to the town earlier in the day.

Mohammed accused the military of harassing residents after the girls were released.

He said the soldiers at Dapchi General Hospital where the girls are currently being examined claimed responsibility for the release of the captives.

“When Boko Haram came to Dapchi this morning, the military at the checkpoint ran away. They came in nine vehicles Hilux and TATA bus. The Boko Haram people dropped the girls and spoke to some villagers that they are not terrorists, but that they are preaching Islam. They said they are the only true believers and all Nigerians are unbelievers,” he said.

“But now the military are molesting the parents and relatives of the girls who went to visit their wards in the hospital. They are beating some of them claiming they are the ones who rescued the girls. But the military has no hand in their rescue. The people of Dapchi have lost faith in the military now because they are molesting us. The youths are protesting in Dapchi right now against the military.

“Some of the girls said that Boko Haram did not molest or rape them. They only preached Islam to them, gave them the Hadith. That is all. They gave us our food to cook by ourselves.”

Goni Ibrahim, son of the district head of Dapchi, also narrated his own account of the incident.

He said on Tuesday night, resident of a neighbouring village informed them that Boko Haram insurgents were on their way to Dapchi.

“Around 12 midnight the people of Gumsa (40 kilometres from Dapchi) called us to say Boko Haram dropped two of their daughters,” he said

“They told us they were coming to Dapchi this morning. So around 7 o’clock this morning, we saw nine vehicles. Many people were running saying Boko Haram is coming to Dapchi but the vehicles dropped the girls and left. The girls came into the village many weak because of hunger. They said they were in transit in the bush for many days.

“Many of them are now in the General Hospital Dapchi where they are receiving treatment. They are sick because of hunger. More than 200 soldiers have surrounded the hospital and not allowing anybody in. They are saying they will take some of them to Damaturu or Abuja for treatment because the hospital cannot contain the girls.”

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