The Nigerian military has admitted that it is “not possible” to protect all schools in the north-east from Boko Haram insurgents, saying it ‘lacks the manpower’ to do so.
This was the submission of the Defence spokesman, John Agim, while speaking on a Channels Television programme on Friday.
He explained that the military does not have the capacity required for its presence in all the schools.
“The military doesn’t have the manpower to deploy (troops) to all the schools. It is very difficult… it is not possible,” he said.
“People don’t know the land mass that we have in the north-east and the number of troops that are deployed in that place,” he said, adding: “The land mass is very large.
The defence spokesman also denied allegations that the failure of the military contributed to the recent abduction of 110 schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe state.
“Where the military was deployed in Dapchi, they (the troops) were taken away. They were deployed for other assignments. So, it is possible that the Boko Haram can operate in a place for a long time without the military presence,” he said.
“They were withdrawn out of Dapchi for another assignment on January 10 and this attack took place on February 19.”
The Dapchi incident was the second large-scale abduction of students in the north-east. In 2014, the insurgents kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno state.