The military has denied claim by Governor Ibrahim Gaidam that the withdrawal of troops was responsible for the attack and abduction of the schoolgirls.
It said troops movement from Dapchi was carried out in tandem with the exigencies of operation.
According to Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, deputy director, Public Relations, Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole, who made the clarification in a statement, troops earlier deployed in Dapchi were redeployed to reinforce troops at Kanama following attacks on troops’ location at the Nigerian – Nigerien border.
“This was on the premise that Dapchi has been relatively calm and peaceful and the security of Dapchi town was formally handed over to the Nigeria Police Division located in the town. Troops’ redeployment was therefore done in tandem with the exigencies of operation and not as misconstrued…
“It is thus obligatory to state that the allegation reportedly attributed to the Governor of Yobe state is misleading and misinforming. We reiterate our commitment and determination to carrying out our mandate to fight Boko Haram terrorists in the north east.
“We also implore members of the public to continue to support us with credible information on the whereabouts of the Boko Haram terrorists. We would also like to assure the parents, government and the good people of Yobe State and indeed members of the public that we will not rest on our oars in the search and rescue of the abducted school girls and any other persons held captive by the terrorists.”
But in a swift reaction, the Yobe State Police Command denied the claim by the military.
According to a statement he personally signed yesterday, the Commissioner of Police, Sumonu Abdulmaliki described the claim by the military that it formally handed over Dapchi town to the Nigeria Police Division in Dapchi as incorrect and untrue. It maintained that there was no time the military informed the Police of their withdrawal, consult 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.
The Yobe State Police Command will continue to cooperate with other security agencies in ensuring safety and protection of lives and property of people of Yobe State.”
The state governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, on Sunday confirmed the lack of military presence but said he was unaware of the withdrawal and drew comparisons to another school attack in the state.
He said troops pulled out of Buni Yadi on the morning of February 25, 2014, allowing jihadists to storm the boys’ boarding school, where more than 40 students were killed.