At least six of the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram terrorists in a school in Dapchi three months ago have been married off by their parents who have lost interest in sending them back to school.
When Boko Haram terrorists raided Government Girls Science and Technical College on February 19, 2018, 111 students, alongside two other non-students, were abducted. A month later, 105 of them, alongside the two others, were released by their captors while five were reported dead and one, Leah Sharibu, still held by Boko Haram for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.
When the terrorists drove the abducted girls back to Dapchi on March 21, 2018, they issued a stern warning that the girls should never be put in school again but should be married off instead.
With the resumption of a new academic term in the Dapchi school since August 30, 2018, it has witnessed a very low turnout of students returning to continue their education.
A teacher, who didn't wish to be named, told AFP that only 314 out of the school's 989 had resumed, with 299 of those only back to write their final examinations after which they'll leave in July, leaving only 15 students left in the entire school.
According to Bashir Manzo, who headed the abducted girls' parents association, parents are reluctant to put their children back in school because they don't have confidence in the security that has been provided by the government.
He told AFP that many parents who couldn't find other schools to enrol their daughters have been forced to marry them off.
He said, "This leaves many parents with no option but to marry off their daughters because they have no means of taking them to schools outside the state.
"From reports at our disposal six girls have so far been married off because their parents have lost interest in sending them to school."
Some other Dapchi girls return to scene of abduction
Despite the fate of some of these girls, Voice of America reported that some of the abducted girls have resumed to the scene of their abduction, in defiance of Boko Haram's threat.
One of the girls, Maryam, told VOA that the terrorists photographed their faces and warned them against returning to school but that she's dismissing their threats because she wants to learn.
In a similar vein, Manzo also told AFP that the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) was able to secure admission for 20 of the abducted girls into NigerianTulip International College, a Turkish-run private school.
VOA reported that parents in Dapchi have been meeting to discuss security in the town and resolved to send their daughters back to school.
The father of one of the abducted girls, Garba Haruna, told VOA, "We have to fight it. They cannot beat us, and they can never win us because we must send them back to school."
To secure Dapchi against a repeat of the abduction, soldiers have been posted to the school's main gates and plainclothes police officers have been stationed throughout the town.