Hours before the Dapchi attack and all the warnings the Nigerian Army ignored- the inside story.

Amnesty international investigated

A team of Amnesty International researchers visited Dapchi and interviewed 23 people, including girls who escaped, parents of the abducted girls, local officials and eyewitnesses, to document this abduction. They also interviewed three security officials. Sources remained anonymous for their safety

Their findings show that the Nigerian army and police received multiple calls up to four hours before the raid on Dapchi, but did not take effective measures to stop the abduction or rescue the girls after they were taken by Boko Haram fighters.

Futchimiram village Jan 19th (2:00pm)

The first call was made to the army command in Geidam, 54km from Dapchi informing them that Boko Haram fighters had been seen at Futchimiram heading to Gumsa, a village about 30 km from Dapchi. Sources who informed the military commander in Geidam at 2 pm report that he responded to them  by saying he was aware of the situation and was monitoring it.

Gumsa village at around 3 pm

The Boko Haram convoy arrived in Gumsa, where they remained till 5 pm. People in Gumsa called Dapchi villagers to warn them that Boko Haram fighters were on their way. One villager who received such a call said he informed a police sergeant who promised to notify the Dapchi Division Police Officer (DPO).

Entering Dapchi – Armed forces alerted again!?

At around 6:30pm, when residents were heading to the mosque for evening prayers, Boko Haram members entered Dapchi. Witnesses said Boko Haram fighters asked for directions to the military post, the local government office and the girls’ school.

A police source in Dapchi told Amnesty International that officers fled because they feared the Boko Haram fighters would overpower them.

During the attack, army officials both in Geidam and Damaturu were again alerted. The Villagers in Dapchi and Gumsa said a military jet arrived about one hour after Boko Haram left Dapchi.

Above is an account by Amnesty international. read the Amnesty report here 

A separate account by Abdulkareem Haruna a premium times reporter who visited Dapchi shortly after the incident collaborates the findings that the military were alerted of the incident but chose to do nothing 

Findings by premium Times

The Boko Haram insurgents had the luxury of time to force people to give them directions “They were total strangers to the town”, said Abubakar Muhammad. “They did not even know where the school GGSS is located even though it is just by the road on the way to Gashua. When they eventually located the school, they moved in, captured many of our daughters and left without any one confronting them.

Usman Na-Katarko, a farmer, told PREMIUM TIMES he also heard them asking for directions.

According to him “ As I was running towards my house to see if my family had also ran out, I saw a large number of Boko Haram gunmen (marching on) a village head of a nearby community called Dana, asking him to take them to a school; I had to dock and I heard them cursing him and shouting at him that “show us where the school is, show us where the girls school is.” And I think the Village head deliberately took them to a junior secondary near the hospital, where there were no student at that time, and when they were going into the school the village head escaped.

“When they found out that the school was empty they came back asking people to tell them the location of GGSS until they eventually located the school.

They came in boldly in 8 Hilux trucks; they did not disguise themselves or their intentions

Abdullahi Jimuna, a light skinned young man who identified himself as a trader, said many of them are yet to overcome the shock of witnessing such invasion, which was the first ever in the community.“On Monday at about 6.30 p.m., we were about to perform the evening prayer, then we saw about eight Hilux vans and a Tata truck coming into the town the other direction”,

“When they arrived the town the vehicles separated in two groups, taking different directions. Then suddenly they began to shoot sporadically. After a while, as everyone was fleeing, then we began to hear the schoolgirls were screaming, we saw some of them scaling the fence and taking to the bush. Then we saw some of them being conveyed in a truck and being taken away.

Their vehicle broke down on the way;

Another resident of the attacked town, Garba Dapchi, said even if the security operatives had arrived Dapchi two hours after the attack they would have been able to intercept the abductors and rescue the girls.

“Everyone saw them leaving with our daughters, they took them on trucks and headed east, towards Gumsa village. As they were leaving many of us saw their vehicles breaking down on the way and they were stopping to fix it then carry on; they did not go far from this vicinity up till about 9 p.m. in the night. No one came to chase them; even when the soldiers arrived, they did not give them any pursuit.

The premium times reporter also observed as at the time he arrived Dapchi, there was heavy security presence formed by soldiers and police officers all in strategic position as they waited for the arrival of a federal government delegation led by the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Muhammed; is it not just ironic how they stood in formation for three or two elite members of the society, but allowed over 100  school girls to be kidnapped

 

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