Witnesses have recounted how Boko Haram terrorists stormed the Government Girls’ Science and Technical School, Dapchi, where 110 students were kidnappped.
Amnesty International, in a report on Tuesday, gave eyewitness testimonies. AI said the Nigerian security forces were forewarned of the terrorists incursion, but didn't heed.
“Between 2pm and 6.30pm on 19 February, security forces received at least five calls warning them that the armed group was on the way to Dapchi”, the report claimed.
“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 30km from Dapchi.
Some villagers at Futchimiram reportedly sighted an armed convoy and alerted the military through “several phone calls”. The military commander in Geidam, as claimed, responded to the telephone call at 2pm and affirmed he was aware.
“At around 3pm, the convoy arrived in Gumsa, where they remained till 5pm. 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).
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.
The AI said eyewitnesses interviewed by it said “Boko Haram left Gumsa for Dapchi at around 5:00pm, arriving at around 6:30pm.
“They left Dapchi at around 7:30pm in the direction of Gumsa, where villagers say they arrived at around 9:00pm.
“The military only arrived in Dapchi shortly after Boko Haram left.
A police source in Dapchi told Amnesty International that officers fled because they feared the Boko Haram fighters would overpower them.”
Osai Ojigho, director, AI said: “The government’s failure in this incident must be investigated and the findings made public – and it is absolutely crucial that any investigation focuses on the root causes.”
The human rights body is calling on government to launch an investigation.
The Nigerian military is yet to respond to the allegations against it.