Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Chibok Girls: We Want Our Children Back, Not Rebuilding Burnt School — Parents Tell FG




Maiduguri—Almost one year after more than 200 secondary schoolgirls were abducted from their school in Chibok, Borno state by Boko Haram terrorists and their school set ablaze, members of the community and some of the distraught parents yesterday rejected attempt by the Federal Government to rebuild the burnt school insisting that all they wanted was to have their children back home.

A screengrab taken on May 12, 2014, from a video of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram obtained by AFP shows girls, wearing the full-length hijab and praying in an undisclosed rural location. Boko Haram released a new video on claiming to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, alleging they had converted to Islam and would not be released until all militant prisoners were freed.

A total of 276 girls were abducted on April 14 from the northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, which has a sizeable Christian community. Some 223 are still missing.

Federal Government officials led by the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had two weeks ago visited the Chibok community during which she announced plans by the government to rebuild the school that was burnt by the insurgents as well as resettle some of the displaced persons.

Some parents of the 219 abducted schoolgirls and concerned members of Chibok community however yesterday condemned the visit by the Federal Government officials and the pledge to rebuild the school, insisting that what they wanted was to bring back their children.

Addressing journalists in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital which was attended by hundreds of Chibok people residents in Maiduguri, the Caretaker Chairman of Chibok Council Area, Mallam Ba’ana Lawan accused the Federal Government of making failed promises of rescuing their 219 abducted schoolgirls.

He also expressed dismay over the government move to rebuild Government Girls Secondary School, GGSS, Chibok which was destroyed by the insurgents after abducting the schoolgirls.

According to him, “It is disheartening to inform you that since the abduction of these girls, the Federal Government did not bother to send delegations to Chibok to sympathize with the parents, instead, the parents were invited to Abuja and conveyed in cargo military plane with no comfort whatsoever.

“We still observed that recently, President Goodluck Jonathan visited Mubi and Baga, but failed to visit Chibok to sympathize with our people.

“We also observed that the President and Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh had severally promised that these girls will soon be released, but it is now more than 300 days, and nothing has happened. We thank God and appreciate Governor Kashim Shettima and his wife, Nana Kashim Shettima who not only visited Chibok when the incident took place, but also secured admission to the 59 schoolgirls that escaped from the Book Haram to study in various schools in the country and all assistance he has rendered to the parents.

“It is most unfortunate that Chibok Local Government Area has witnessed six different attacks by insurgents and about 300 people lost their lives with property worth millions of naira destroyed, hundreds of houses razed down as well as food and cash crops looted. The most recent attacks being that of Gatamwarwa, Kautikari and other surrounding villages where several lives were equally lost. Yet there was no response from the Federal Government.

“We therefore condemn the move by the Federal Government to embark on the reconstruction of the school (GGSS Chibok)instead of bringing back our girls as severally promised”.

He however appreciated the persistent efforts of the ‘#BRING BACK OUR GIRLS’ group in Abuja which has been mounting pressure on the Federal Government to intensify effort in rescuing the innocent girls as well as the media in their consistent effort to ensure that the girls are rescued.







Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Followers