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#DapchiGirls: Nigerian Army, Police Exchange Words, Blame Each Other

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Some troops of the Nigerian Army

The Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) have thrown words at each other over the abduction of the 110 school girls last Monday in Dapchi, Yobe State, by Boko Haram insurgents.

Naija News reported that Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Geidam, blamed the military when his Borno counterpart, Kassim Shettima, paid him a solidarity visit over the weekend.

But the Nigerian Army Headquarters refuted Governor Geidam’s claim on Sunday night, saying the governor was being mischievous.

The Nigerian Army in a recent interview, according to Premium Times, claimed it withdrew its officials from Dapchi only after it handed over the security of the community to the police, which the police denied.

A spokesperson for the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri, Onyema Nwachukwu, said the soldiers were withdrawn from Dapchi on January 10 which was 40 days before the attack and not a week before as declared by Governor Geidam.

However, the police opposed the military’s statement on Monday night, saying it was false, unfounded and misleading.

The Commissioner of Police in Yobe State, Sunmonu Abdulmaliki, said, “The statement by the military of formal handing over of Dapchi town to the Nigeria Police Division in Dapchi is not correct. 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.”

“The whole of Yobe State is still under Security Emergency which the police, the military and other security agencies are battling to ensure lasting peace,” the commissioner said.

He therefore, enjoined members of the public in Yobe State to disregard the claim that the military formally handed over the security of Dapchi town to the police.

On the contrary, the Army insists that they handed over the security of Dapchi to the Nigeria Police.

Nwachukwu said, “Our role is to defend the territorial integrity of the country. It’s the role of the sister security agencies to protect the civilian population whenever we have liberated a community from insurgents.

“If the commissioner says they were not told to take charge of the security, does that mean they abandoned all the checkpoints the soldiers had in place before they were moved to Kanama?

“What role did the police play when Boko Haram entered the community? How did the police respond to the terrorists?”

Nwachukwu called on other security agencies to collaborate with the military to rid the country of insurgents.

“We’ve been in Malamfatori, Lake Chad, Gashigar and Sambisa, but the police cannot enter all these places. Again, we’re not interested in a blame game, but the police should know that they’re supposed to take charge of an area that has been liberated by the military.”

“Our roles should be complementary: After we’ve liberated a town, sister agencies should immediately take charge of security there,” he said.

“Although we have the 7 Division Headquarters in Maiduguri that could always intervene when necessary, the police are playing their daily roles in securing the town from minor threats,” he added.

Was a Senior Associate at Naija News. She is a graduate of Mass Communication, with specialization in Public Relations and Advertising at Master level. A go-getter, level-headed and charismatic individual. She has penchant for fashion, styles and Bollywood movies. Follow her on instagram @bouqui_gold