The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has told of how the Department of State Services (DSS) led the team of negotiators to demand for the release of the abducted students of Government Girls Science and Technical College (GGSTC) by terror group Boko Haram.
Director, Defence information, Brigadier-General John Agim, made this known in an interview while reacting to the role played by the military in the release of the girls by the terrorists early Wednesday morning.
Agim, who refused to go into details on the military contribution to the release of the girls, said in a text message that “The girls were released through negotiations led by the Department of State Services (DSS).”
Controversy had trailed the alleged withdrawal of soldiers deployed at Dapchi town a few days before the abduction, with the military claiming to have handed over the security of the town to the Police.
The Yobe State government had alleged that the sudden withdrawal of soldiers from the town was responsible for the attack and abduction of the girls.
But Army authorities through Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, Deputy Director, Public Relations, Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole, refuted the allegation, describing it as “not only unfortunate, but also very far from the truth.”
Nwachukwu had in the statement said “In carrying out its mandate to counter terrorism and insurgency in north eastern Nigeria, Operation Lafiya Dole has been alive to its responsibilities vis-à-vis the fight against Boko Haram insurgents. Several communities and Local Governments that were hitherto under siege of the insurgents have been liberated and the insurgents pushed out. While troops continue to trail and decimate the remnants of the insurgents in the hinterlands, the security of the liberated communities and towns fall in the hands of the sister security agencies.”
However, in a swift reaction, Yobe State Police Commissioner Sumonu Abdulmaliki issued a statement saying the claim of a handover was “untrue, unfounded and misleading.”
He maintained that “there was no time that the military informed the police of their withdrawal, consulted or handed over their locations in Dapchi town to the police.”