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I’ll not attend school again, says escaped Dapchi Schoolgirl
Some of the students who managed to escape abduction at Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, by Boko Haram said they would not return to school.
One of the lucky students, Mariam Mohammed Miko, 15, said though she hoped to be a health technologist to be able to help her community, she was no longer returning to school.
This came as the Federal Government said, yesterday, that there were still conflicting reports on the actual number of students abducted from Government Girls Science Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, recently by Boko Haram terrorists.
Speaking in the same vein, Amina Abubakar Mohamadu, 15, who is the first of her parents’ three daughters, said though she would not completely withdraw from schooling, she won’t return to her present school.
‘’I can’t go back to that school because the time they came, they told us that they are coming again. They (Boko Haram) said this is the first time they are in that town, that they didn’t know there is school in that area, that if they knew, they would have done more than that. So now, as I know they are coming back, I cannot go back there.
She is, however, willing to go to another school.
Similarly, Fatima Mohammed Bilau, 15, the 10th child in a family of 27, shared similar fears about returning to school, stressing that for now, she had given up on education.
On her part, Yagana Mustapha, 14, said she would only return to school, if government provides adequate security.
“I will go back to school. But let the government protect us; let government provide security,’’ she said.
On her fellow students that ran into the car belonging to the insurgents, Yagana said: “They did not know they were not soldiers. They thought they will help them. That was why they entered the car. Some of them were crying and shouting.”
While she is grateful to God for her escape, she prayed for her friends’ return. She said: “I am happy to escape, but I feel sad for my friends and my wish for them is to come back.”
They came in unusual soldiers’ uniform
Narrating how the attack happened, another lucky student, Ajara Lawal, a 14-year-old SS2 student said at the school hostel that she came to pick some of her belongings.
“We heard gunshots. We were in the mosque. At first, we thought it was an explosion from the transformer. But the shooting continued, so all of us left the mosque and moved towards the school gate.
“When we got to the gate, we saw some people in soldiers’ uniform, but they didn’t look like soldiers, and then we ran back. Our principal was crying, she told us we were not safe that we should run towards the fence and run away,” she said.
Amina Abubakar Mohamadu, a 16-year-old, SS2 student, who has now returned to her father’s house in Damaturu, said she just had her dinner when the shootings started, adding that ‘’we all ran out, but the principal told us to start running, that we are not safe.”
In her account, Yagana Mustapha said she was one of the girls at the mosque when they heard the gunshots.
“We ran to the gate. Then they (Boko Haram) lied, saying Boko Haram was attacking the village. ‘Come, come, I want to help you,’’ she explained.
How we escaped
Ajara in her account of how the incident happened, recalled: “They were wearing soldiers’ uniforms and they said ‘Come, come, we are here to rescue you.’ I even stepped my leg into the car, but my elder sister called and said, ‘can’t you see that Allahu Akbar is written on their car,’ that was how I ran out.’’
Amina narrated her experience: “They deceived us. They came with three vans in army colours and they had army uniform, but they didn’t have army boots, that is how some of us identified them – through the slippers and their military trouser which did not touch the ground — three-quarter length.”
Yagana confirmed: “They wore soldiers uniform. I saw their car. They wrote Allahu Akbar on it. That is why I did not run into it.”
Sadia Mohammed Sanni, the third of 15 children, who said she wanted to be a doctor and currently in SS2, said: “Immediately the incident started, we started running. Our teachers helped us to cross the fence. I was raised to scale over the fence and ran to a neighbour’s house.’’
The distance the girls must have covered to scale over the school fence cannot be less than five kilometres, given the huge landmass of the school.
“We ran, ran,” Ajara, who spoke through an interpreter, gesticulated with her hand. “Almost five kilometres.”
“Our teachers tried for us. They helped us to climb the fence,” Yagana added.
Amina is still horrified by the experience. Her father, a civil servant in Damaturu, said in the past one week, she often jerks in her sleep.
Schoolgirl bitten by a snake
“I slept in the bush that night. One of my friends was bitten by a snake. Some ran into houses. The next day, the local government chairman of Babangida and Dapchi came to see us and brought some of us back to our parents,” she recalled.
The girls said a teacher had a miscarriage as a result of the rush, while another had a fracture.