The United States Government has said it is deeply concerned for the welfare of the female students abducted recently from their schools in Borno State by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect.
This is as the people of Borno State have lamented the continued closure of schools in some local government areas for close to two years while casualty figure of the Konduga attack, which the US condemned, has risen to 62.
In a statement issued by its Embassy in Abuja, the US reiterated its call to the Nigerian government to bring the perpetrators of these acts to justice.
The statement reads in part: “The United States offers its sincere sympathy to the families of scores of murdered civilians and students abducted from the Government Girls Senior Science Secondary School and Ashigar School of Business and Administrative Studies.
“We are deeply concerned for the welfare of the young women currently being held against their will; we urge the government of Nigeria to investigate this attack, ensure all abductees are safely returned to their families, and bring the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible.
“The United States remains committed to supporting the people of northern Nigeria in their struggle to stop the abhorrent actions of Boko Haram and associated terrorist groups.”
Meanwhile, search for more corpses of victims of Tuesday’s Boko Haram attack on Konduga has continued. The death toll on Tuesday which stood at 53 rose to 57 on Thursday with four persons reportedly dead from injuries at University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH). The figure further rose to 62 yesterday as five corpses were retrieved from the surrounding bushes.
It was gathered that the residents of the troubled town continued to flee in their hundreds to Maiduguri, the state capital seeking refuge.
Masu Yale, the District Head of Konduga said some members of the Konduga Volunteer Group retrieved five more bodies from the bush on Thursday; and buried them at the cemetery according to Islamic rites in the evening.
“After a two-hour search for more bodies in the bush yesterday, members of the volunteer group retrieved five bodies; and were buried at the cemetery. This represents a total of 62 people killed, including the four injured people that died at the UMTH yesterday in Maiduguri,” he said.
He said that the hoodlums came back to attack a village in the outskirts of town on Thursday but found out that people had already deserted.
“Most of my people had already fled when the attackers came calling even though a few of us, the agile men hid in nearby farmlands. The attackers surrounded Malari village and started shooting in the air but changed their mind when they realised that nobody was in the village. Luckily enough, they did not burn any property.
“When we heard of the attack, we informed relevant authorities and security measures were taken. Most of the people have returned to their homes in Malari village, located 10 kilometres west of destroyed Konduga town,” he said.
The Chairman of Dikwa local government area of Borno State, Alhaji Modu Ali Gana has lamented that their children have not been to school in the last two years for fear of Boko Haram attack.
“Our sons and daughters have continued to stay at home and stay away from schools in the past two years for fear of being attacked by Boko Haram. Education is wealth, but it is unfortunate that for the past two years, no school is functioning in Dikwa, students have remained at home because of Boko Haram, this time around we will not only renovate the schools, but also see to it that our students return back to classrooms with their teachers motivated with the scarce resources at our disposalâ€, he said.