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Confusion as Yobe Gov Says No Missing Dapchi Girl Has Returned

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Lai Mohammed
  • Confusion as Yobe Gov Says No Missing Dapchi Girl Has Returned

Confusion reigned on Thursday as there was conflicting information from several government sources about the fate of students who were declared missing after a Boko Haram attack on Government Girls Science Technical College, Dapchi, Bursari Local Government Area, Yobe State.

It remained unclear whether the terrorists actually abducted any girl or the students scampered into the bush upon sensing an attack from Boko Haram fighters. Also shrouded in confusion is the number of girls missing, and whether any of them had returned or been rescued.

None of these issues was cleared on Thursday even as the state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, visited Dapchi community, declaring emphatically that none of the missing girls had neither returned nor been rescued by security agencies.

Also speaking on the incident, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the federal government was unsure of the situation on the ground, pleading for more time to ascertain the facts of the matter.

“On the issue of the number of missing girls, we cannot give what we are not sure of, until we hear from their parents, we cannot say this is the number. Give us a few more time please,” Mohammed told reporters shortly after he arrived at the school in Dapchi on Thursday afternoon.

Boko Haram had invaded the girls’ only school on Monday night, with no one able to say with certainty if the terrorists made away with any of them.

Unconfirmed reports on Tuesday, however, quoted school sources as saying 94 students were declared missing after an afternoon roll call in the college.

But on Wednesday further unconfirmed reports said 48 of the missing girls had returned to the school even as a statement late evening by the government claimed that the military had rescued an unspecified number of the girls.

“The Yobe State Government hereby informs the public that some of the girls at Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) whose school was attacked by Boko Haram terrorists last Monday have been rescued by gallant officers and men of the Nigerian Army from the terrorists who abducted them,” Abdullahi Bego, the spokesman of the governor said.

“The rescued girls are now in the custody of the Nigerian Army. We will provide more details about their number and condition in due course,” he added.

But Gaidam recanted the statement on Thursday, dismissing it as misleading, a position the police in the state re-echoed.

“I am not able to say categorically that anyone was abducted or not,” said Sunmonu Abdulmaliki, the state police command commissioner.

Speaking to reporters in Dapchi, he said after a roll call at the school on Thursday, only 815 of the 926 students enrolled could be accounted for, leaving a balance of 111.

The military kept mum on Thursday, refusing to join the fray. “We prefer that the police and the state government handle the matter. It’s their turf,” a military top brass that preferred said.

Thursday night, the state government issued a statement apologising for its Wednesday statement, saying it relied on the information it had now found not to be credible.

The statement signed by Bego read: “The public may recall that we issued a statement last night in which we announced that some of the girls at Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) Dapchi who went missing after Boko Haram terrorists had stormed their school last Monday were rescued by officers and men of the Nigerian Army who are currently executing the war against the Boko Haram Insurgents.

“We issued the statement on the basis of information provided by one of the security agencies that is involved in the fight against Boko Haram and which we had no reason to doubt.

“We have now established that the information we relied on to make the statement was not credible. The Yobe State Government apologises for that.

“His Excellency Governor Ibrahim Gaidam was in Dapchi today where he met with community leaders and the Principal and staff of the Girls’ College. The governor also addressed the parents of some of the schoolgirls that are still unaccounted for where he told them to pray and exercise patience as the government and security agencies at all levels continue the work to address the unfortunate situation.

“His Excellency Governor Gaidam has also directed Education Ministry officials and the school administration to work closely with the security agencies to establish the actual number of the girls that are still unaccounted for and to contact parents and the community for possible information that could be useful in the investigation.

“His Excellency Governor Gaidam shares deeply and personally in the grief about the unfortunate event at the Girls’ College and, under his leadership, the Yobe State Government will continue to do everything necessary in partnership with security agencies and the federal government to address the situation.”

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Wednesday condemned the incident, asking the military to take charge of the school to prevent further terrorist harassment of the students.

He also sent a delegation of three ministers, including Mohammed, Brig-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (Defence) and Chief Geoffrey Onyema (Foreign Affairs), to visit the troubled community and report back to him.
The delegation visited Dapchi Thursday.

Senate Condemns Resurgence of Insurgency

Reacting to the incident, the Senate on Thursday, condemned what it said was the resurgence of insurgency by Boko Haram as manifested by the attack on Dapchi.

It called on all relevant authorities to rescue the girls and ensure those unaccounted for were found, to avoid another Chibok experience.

Senator Abba Bukar (Yobe APC), raising a motion of urgent public importance, said 46 of the 926 girls are still unaccounted for, with efforts ongoing to determine their status.

“So far, there has been no case of killing. Nobody is sure if it was a case of abduction or some of the girls who ran home have not yet come back. These are yet to be confirmed,” he said.

Senator Hassan Mohammed (Yobe PDP) lamented that under Governor Gaidam, several schools had been attacked.

“In 2013, a secondary school in Potiskum was attacked, where over 70 children were killed. A year after, another secondary school in Mamudu was attacked, where school children were slaughtered. There was another attack in Buni Yadi, where students were attacked. The state university too was attacked and now we have this one,” he said.

He criticised the state government for failing in its responsibility to protect the lives and property of its citizens.

Senator Joshua Lidani (Taraba PDP) contributing to the debate, urged the president to visit the people of the area.
He also urged Buhari to make it a priority to visit areas where people have been attacked and traumatised.

He said: “But the most worrisome aspect was the fact that at times like this, whenever we are faced with this kind of situation, the nation ought to hear from the president. He ought to say something.

“When there were killings in the United States in a school, the President himself went to that school to sympathize with the students and the parents but here all along, we have had this. Since the time of the Chibok girls, we have heard killings, abductions and Mr President ought to sympathise. He ought to utter words of sympathy, he ought to come on television and say one thing or the other. It would bring comfort to those who are in distress. People will have the feeling that the President has them at his heart.”

Presiding, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said the clamour that policemen should be deployed to protect all schools, shows that there is a need to explore other options for policing.
He expressed deep concern at the incident.

He said: “We are also aware that the military and the police are overstretched in all ramifications at this period of national insecurity. That is what makes the case a stronger case for another level of policing.

“If you are now asking the military and the police to provide security at all the schools, they cannot have the number to do so. There must be another level of policing to complement the federal government’s security infrastructure in order to be able to secure all parts of Nigeria.”

EU Reiterates Commitment to Fight Terror

The Dapchi incident on Thursday gave the European Union (EU) the opportunity to reiterate its commitment to support Nigeria in the fight against terrorism and other crimes in the country.

The EU, in a statement, expressed its solidarity with the affected families and the nation at large, assuring them that it would continue to work for the rights and protection of girls, adding that the girl child should be given the freedom to shape their future.

It said: “Targeting children and abducting young girls as they seek to attend school is an attack on our common humanity.

“The EU sends its solidarity with the affected families and the people of Nigeria.
“The girls deserve freedom and a chance to shape their own future.
“The EU remains committed to supporting the Government of Nigeria in its fight against terrorism and all forms of criminality.

“We stand resolute to continue our humanitarian and development work, including the rights and protection of girls.”

The statement was said to have brought tears to the faces of parents and relatives of the missing students as the governor could not state the whereabouts of their wards.

Addressing the parents at the District Head’s palace in Dapchi on Thursday, the governor urged the parents to remain faithful as security operatives were still searching for the girls.

He said: “Soldiers have been pursuing the insurgents, although they receive information that the Boko Haram insurgents had passed some areas, but the communities in the areas said they did not spot the girls along with the insurgents.”

He assured them that government and security operatives would not rest on their oars until the missing girls were accounted for.

The waiting parents wept profusely as the earlier news that the girls were rescued turned out to be false.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Kagame Dominates Election with 99.15% of Votes Counted

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President Paul Kagame has taken a commanding lead in the Rwandan presidential election, securing 99.15% of the votes counted thus far, according to the National Electoral Commission.

The provisional results, reported by the state broadcaster Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, indicate a decisive victory for the Rwandan Patriotic Front candidate.

With 79% of the ballots tallied, Kagame’s overwhelming lead leaves his opponents trailing significantly.

Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has garnered only 0.53% of the votes, while independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana has received 0.32%.

The voter turnout has been reported at an impressive 98%, underscoring the high level of public engagement in the electoral process.

The early results suggest a strong mandate for Kagame, who has been at the helm of Rwandan politics since 2000.

Kagame’s administration has been marked by significant economic growth and development, but it has also faced criticism for its stance on political dissent and freedom of expression.

Despite this, Kagame remains a highly popular figure in Rwanda, with many citizens crediting him for the country’s stability and progress.

The National Electoral Commission is expected to release the final results in the coming days. As the tallying continues, Kagame’s supporters have already begun celebrating his anticipated victory.

Analysts believe that Kagame’s likely re-election will provide continuity in Rwanda’s economic policies and development programs.

However, they also call for more inclusive governance and respect for political freedoms to ensure long-term stability and growth.

Kagame’s near-unanimous support in the early results reflects his entrenched position in Rwandan politics.

His ability to maintain such high levels of support will be a focal point of discussion in the aftermath of the election.

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Kenya Prepares for More Protests Over Unresolved Political Crisis

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Kenya is on the brink of another wave of anti-government protests as efforts to resolve the nation’s escalating political crisis appear to have stalled.

President William Ruto’s proposal for a national dialogue has yet to take off, leaving the nation in a state of heightened tension.

Activists have called for demonstrations across the East African nation on Tuesday, protesting the government’s failure to hold security forces accountable for the deaths of at least 41 people.

These casualties occurred during protests against Ruto’s contentious plan to raise taxes over the past month.

Despite the president’s announcement last week that national dialogue would commence on Monday to defuse the situation, progress has been elusive.

The main opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), expressed uncertainty regarding the proposed talks.

“We haven’t received any invitation,” ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna stated. “When called, we’ll go because we are keen on getting broad-based reforms.”

A spokesperson for the presidency indicated that parliamentary leaders were managing the planned talks, but National Assembly majority leader Kimani Ichung’wah did not respond to requests for comment.

Protests initially erupted in mid-June over Ruto’s plans to increase taxes on essential goods, including bread and diapers, aiming to raise over $2 billion to reduce the government’s budget shortfall.

The public outcry forced Ruto to abandon the proposal, but dissatisfaction remains high.

Last week, in a dramatic move to quell public anger, Ruto fired almost all his cabinet members, underscoring the severity of the discontent.

The scrapping of the tax measures is expected to widen the government’s budget deficit to 3.6% of GDP in the current fiscal year, up from a previous projection of 3.3%.

This financial strain has not gone unnoticed; Moody’s Ratings downgraded Kenya’s rating by a step to Caa1, plunging it deeper into junk status, highlighting the country’s deteriorating fiscal condition.

On Saturday, Ruto vowed to hold accountable those responsible for the recent killings. However, his efforts to address public concerns seem insufficient to stem the tide of unrest.

On Monday, he called on the Ford Foundation, an organization promoting civic engagement, to clarify its role in the protests, though the foundation did not respond to requests for comment.

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Rishi Sunak Announces Resignation Amid Labour’s Sweeping Victory

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Rishi Sunak

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced his resignation as the leader of the Conservative Party following a historic victory by Labour in the general election.

Addressing the nation from the steps of 10 Downing Street, Sunak expressed his deep regret and took full responsibility for the party’s defeat.

“I would like to say, first and foremost, I am sorry. I have given this job my all,” Sunak began, visibly moved.

“But you have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change. And yours is the only judgement that matters. I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss.”

The Conservatives experienced a staggering loss, with more seats taken by Labour than in any previous election.

This shift marked a dramatic change in the political landscape, as large swathes of the country turned red. Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, claimed victory early Friday morning, addressing a jubilant crowd of supporters.

“The UK has the opportunity after 14 years to get its future back,” Starmer proclaimed.

Sunak, who retained his seat in Richmond, North Yorkshire, described the night as “sobering.”

In his concession, he stated, “The Labour Party has won this general election, and I have called Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory. The British people have delivered a sobering verdict tonight; there is much to learn, and I take responsibility for the loss.”

Following his resignation speech, Sunak and his wife, Akshata, departed from Downing Street for Buckingham Palace to formally tender his resignation to King Charles III.

A spokesperson for the King confirmed, “His Majesty was graciously pleased to accept.”

Reflecting on his tenure, Sunak said, “I am honoured to have been your prime minister. This is the best country in the world.”

He also acknowledged the many Conservative MPs who lost their seats, stating, “It pains me to think how many good colleagues who contributed so much to their communities and our country will now no longer sit in the House of Commons. I thank them for their hard work and their service.”

As the Conservative Party faces a period of introspection and rebuilding, Sunak emphasized the importance of the party’s role in opposition.

“It is important that the Conservative Party now rebuilds and also takes up its crucial role in opposition, professionally and effectively,” he noted.

The leadership race within the Conservative Party is expected to commence shortly, as the party seeks to navigate its path forward after this significant electoral defeat.

For now, the UK braces for a new political era under Labour’s leadership, with the promise of significant changes on the horizon.

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