Nigeria restates commitment to rescue Chibok girls

Timothy Choji, Chibok

The Nigerian government says it has a renewed commitment to rescue and re-unite the abducted Chibok girls with their families.

Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, who led the government’s delegation to Government Secondary School Chibok, where a prayer session for the safe return of the girls was offered, said the government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari was doing everything possible to re-unite the girls with their families.

She told the parents of the abducted girls that President Buhari was in total solidarity with them and will not relent in his efforts to rescue the girls from their captors.

“Today is not a day of speeches, we know the pains you are going through and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is working hard to rescue your daughters alive and bring them back to you. It is not easy. I am a mother too I feel your pains too, I therefore plead with you to be patient and prayerful as we continue to work hard to rescue them” she said.

She then announced governement’s donation of 600 bags of rice, 600 bags of maize, 100 bags of beans, 100 bags of salt, 300 pieces of wrappers, blankets and assorted non food items. N5, 000 was assigned to each of the wrappers given to cover the cost of sewing.

Mrs Mohammed advised the people of Chibok, to set up a committee from among them, comprising of mainly the affected parents, to share the items.

Commenting on the claims by some of the parents that the school authorities knew something about the sad event that took place on April 14, 2014, the Environment Minister said in line with its love for transparency and fair play, government will not relent to do the right thing in that regard but was quick to add that people should patiently wait for findings to be concluded on the matter.

Also speaking at the event, Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima thanked the government for the support and commitment towards rescuing the abducted girls.

He said the state government would continue to work hand in hand with the Nigerian government to achieve the goal.

He said the state government currently spends N50 million annually on the studies of the 57 of the girls that escaped from their abductors.

“Currently we spend N50 million on the training of 57 of the girls that escaped from the Boko Haram. Together with the federal government, we are still searching for the rest and by God’s grace we shall find them. We have also given a contact worth N4.5 billion for the construction of a road to Chibok,” he said.

The Governor pleaded with the parents of the girls to be patient and cooperate with government and desist from relating the matter with politics or religion as was being insinuated in some quarters.

Earlier, one of the parents, Mr Yakubu Nkenki, who spoke on behalf of his counterparts, alleged that the authorities of Government Secondary School Chibok knew something about the abduction of the students that were taken away two years ago.

According to him:“ On that fateful day, some of them quietly withdrew their children from the school. They took them home. Their children didn’t sleep in the school that night. But our daughters were left there. Even the security guards were nowhere to be found. The mobile phones of our daughters were seized from them shortly before they were taken away, we need to know why as there are lots of questions to be answered.”

He called on government to quickly release the report of the investigation carried out on the matter and let the whole world know what really transpired on April 14, 2014.

Some of the parents, who spoke to Voice of Nigeria amid tears,thanked President Buhari, the Nigerian governmentl and Borno state governments for their efforts towards rescuing their daughters.

They said they still nurse the hope of seeing their daughters one day and would continue to pray for their release by their captors.

Also on the delegation of the government that visited Chibok were the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of State for Power, Mr Mustapha Baba Shehuri, Senate Leader, Ali Ndume Senator Binta Garba and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Internally Displaced Persons, Dr Mariam Marsha among others.

Confidence O.