NAF deploys ISR platforms to search for missing 110 Dapchi girls

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Nigeria's government is acknowledging that 110 girls remain missing almost a week after Boko Haram militants attacked a town.

A Federal Government delegation has arrived in Damaturu, Yobe State, to meet with state government officials, Principal of the Govt Science and Technical Girls College in Dapchi today over the missing girls.

The Nigeria Air Force says it has intensified efforts to locate the missing Dapchi girls in Yobe by deploying additional air assets, including Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platforms to the North East Zone.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who campaigned in 2015 on pledges to find the Chibok students, said Friday that as soon as he heard about the Dapchi attack, he had deployed security forces with instructions to "not spare any effort to ensure all the girls are returned safely".

He was of the view that the terrorists must have found their way back to Yobe after they had been displaced from their stronghold in Borno (Sambisa), which could have led to the abduction of the girls. We will carry the parents along on the efforts we are making, " he said.

Many fear the girls were abducted as brides for Boko Haram extremists. When our daughters were abducted in Chibok, only God understood how I felt and I can imagine how you also feel, and the trauma you are going through. "The same thing happened in 2013 when the military suddenly removed troops guarding the town and a week later Boko Haram went there to attack the town and the secondary school there killing 29 students". "I want the press to quote me on this" he said.

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Shortly after the attack last Monday in Yobe state, the governor's office released a statement saying 50 girls were unaccounted for.

"We are sorry that it happened; we share your pain". They withdrew the military personnel from the town last week which was not even known to us.

He recalled that it was the second time in four days that a Federal Government delegation would visit Yobe over the issue of the missing Dapchi girls. A few officials falsely claimed some of the girls had been rescued. They started telling the terrified girls they were soldiers there to help them, and shepherded them toward their vehicles. "We were asking each other repeatedly if Ummi was among those girls that that were just taken away", he said. They later admitted that the claim was based on information that was "not credible" and had been provided by "one of the security agencies involved in the fight against Boko Haram".

"What people are most angry with", Gombe said, "is how the government has handled the situation".

Security analysts suggested government ransom payments to secure the release of the Chibok girls could have given the under-pressure group an incentive for financing.