48 of the 94 girls missing after insurgent group Boko Haram attacked a girls secondary school in Yobe state have been found, Punch reports.
Members of the insurgent group had attacked Government Girls Technical College Dapchi and 94 students, in a bid to escape them, had fled the school and had been reported missing.
The Yobe State Commissioner for Education, Mohammed Lamin, had in Damaturu, about 100 kilometres from Dapchi, revealed the discovery of the 48 girls.
28 girls returned on Tuesday, he said, with another 20 received from a village they had ran to. He said:
This has brought down the number of missing pupils from 94 to 46 as of this morning (Wednesday). We are still hopeful that more pupils will return soon.
The Yobe State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, in a statement released by his spokesperson, Abdullahi Bego, said the state is unsure if any of the students were abducted by Boko Haram. He said:
The Yobe State Government is working with the Nigerian Army and other security and law enforcement agencies to ensure that all students in the school are fully accounted for.
As the public is aware, the pupils were helped by their teachers to escape to the surrounding bushes and villages as terrorists stormed the town on Monday.
Many pupils are still unaccounted for, but the Yobe State Government has been receiving the girls that were found in the general area to which they escaped.
The government is coordinating with law enforcement agencies to ensure that those girls are returned safely.
The Yobe State Government has no credible information as to whether any of the schoolgirls was taken hostage by the terrorists.
The Yobe State Government assures parents and the school community that it will do everything necessary to ensure that all the missing girls are found and returned to their school and families and that security is improved in the area.
President Muhammadu Buhari in sharing the anguish of the parents stated that the military is doing all it can to ensure their safe return.
I have directed the Military and Police to mobilize immediately to ensure that all the missing girls of Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi, are found. The Minister of Defence will also lead a Federal Government delegation to Yobe tomorrow, to ascertain the situation.
share the anguish of all the parents and guardians of the girls that remain unaccounted for. I would like to assure them that we are doing all in our power to ensure the safe return of all the girls.