By Chika Otuchikere
The military authorities have engaged the services of farmers and fishermen in the search for the 110 Dapchi schoolgirls kidnapped penultimate Monday in Yobe State by Boko Haram insurgents.
The Commander of the counter-insurgency operation in the North East, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Rogers Nicholas, confirmed the action on Wednesday.
Nicholas said that the military has employed the services of fishermen and farmers to help in the search of missing Dapchi school girls.
He spoke at the inauguration of Helipad, office complex and residential quarters for officers and airmen at the newly established 171 Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Detachment in Monguno town by the National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno.
According to him, over 200 hours had been spent by aircraft combing the area for the schoolgirls of Government Girls Secondary and Technical College.
Nicholas said the NSA and the Chief of Air Staff visited the area to add impetus to the search, adding that both the NSA and CAS have been flying round the Theatre to contribute to the operation.
Nicholas continued: a�?The NSA has also introduced us to some local fishermen and farmers, who have very good knowledge of this terrain to work with us in terms of intelligence to contribute to the search efforts we are making.
*Dambazau orders IGP, NSCDC boss to relocate to North East
Meanwhile, the Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd) has directed the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris and the Commandant-General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Abdullahi Mohammad Gana, to relocate to the North East zone.
Dambazau directed them to liaise with the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, the governors of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States to ensure the deployment of their personnel in all schools in the liberated areas in the three states.
In a statement by the ministera��s spokesman, Ehisienmen Osaigbovo, the minister said that the directive became necessary to forestall a recurrence of attack on innocent school children, stressing that the government is making efforts to rescue the Dapchi girls and other Boko Haram captives.
The action is said to be sequel to the recent visit of the Federal Governmenta��s delegation led by the Ministers of Interior and Information and Culture to Dapchi, where Dambazau directed the Commissioner of Police and the Commandant of the NSCDC in Yobe to ensure security presence in all schools in the liberated communities.
*UN demands Dapchi schoolgirlsa�� release
Also yesterday, the United Nations (UN) expressed outrage on the abduction of the schoolgirls and demanded their immediate release.
UN Secretary-General, Mr . Antonio Guterres, said in a statement by his spokesperson, Mr. Stephane Dujarric, that he a�?strongly condemns the abduction and attack.a�?
Guterres said that he was gravely concerned over the situation of the schoolgirlsa�� abducted during an attack on their educational institution in Dapch, Yobe state, on February 19.
The Secretary-General called for the immediate and unconditional release of all missing girls and for their safe return to their families.
The UN chief also urged the Nigerian authorities to swiftly bring those responsible for this dastardly act to justice.
By Chika Otuchikere