LAGOS, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- There was fiasco in the sleepy community of Dapchi, in restive northeast Nigeria's Yobe State in the evening of Feb. 19, 2018, as the community's Government Girls Technical College was overrun by suspected Boko Haram insurgents.
The militants reportedly invaded the town in 18 gun-trucks and headed straight to the school, where they shot indiscriminately before making for the hostels to capture hapless students.
While some of the students and their teachers fled into the bush for dear life, others were rounded up, unable to escape.
While the marauders herded the mostly boarding students and their foodstuffs into their trucks, they ran after those who tried to escape, shooting while the chase lasted.
At least four bodies of students were recovered from the bush in the nearby town of Kusur, a day after. And as the smoldering smoke subsided, a headcount followed, to reveal that over 100 students were missing.
Barely a day after the incident, authorities in Yobe State put out the news that the Nigerian troops had rescued 50 abducted schoolgirls in Yobe, a report that was soon to be tacitly dismissed by the Nigerian Army, which said it could not confirm if any of the students had been rescued from their abductors. The state's governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, later came out to deny the news of any rescue.
The abduction of school children whose exact figure is still subject to controversies at press time, has come as sheer antithesis to the Federal Government's claim that it had completely defeated Boko Haram and that only its remnants were frustrated afield where they engaged in isolated attacks on soft targets.
The latest attack on the school will surely also make it hard for the government to explain over the invasion of a crisis-prone community with 18 gun-trucks of the Boko Haram militia, without either prior intelligence that could have thwarted the attack or timely intervention by the military that could have limited the damage on civilians.
Already, the Buhari administration has committed itself to negotiating with the militants to free Nigerian captives in their dungeon, while the militants in turn, insist on their deadly commanders in the Nigerian custody, and huge sums of money, as barter.
There is also growing concern that the capturing of the school children is another window of opportunity for the terrorists to negotiate for more money and the release of some of their key leaders captured in the heat of hostilities.
What is left, no doubt, is to either devise ways of rescuing the hapless girls and thus comfort their agonized parents, or return to the booby trap of bartering with the militants.
Analysts say the way out for the Nigerian government and the military authorities in nipping the Boko Haram blight in the bud, is to retreat to the drawing board, and fashion out ways of manning strategic locations across the country's North-East borders.
The local troops in charge of the communities should also get new orientation and motivation as it is now crystal clear that the war against insurgency is far from being won.