Seven years after their wards were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School Chibok in Borno state, no fewer than 20 parents of the affected students have died as a result of trauma while many others are now living with terminal ailments.
Director of Media and Communication of the Kibaku (Chibok) Area Development Association KADA, Dr Allen Manasseh disclosed this at a solemn event Wednesday in Abuja to mark the seventh year of the kidnap of the students.
On the night of April 14, 2014, about 276 schoolgirls of Government Secondary School Chibok were kidnapped. While 57 later escaped, 105 were brought back through independent escape and military negotiations even as 112 Chibok girls remain captivities of the Boko Haram terrorist group.
At the time, no fewer than 503 students were registered to sit for their final Senior School Certificate (SSCE) known as WAEC and NECO at the school.
“No one can imagine the trauma and pain they are passing through, in the hands of terrorists who subject them to abuses, rapes, forced marriages, forced labor and many more associated with terrorism. Their parents are heartbroken, over 20 have since died, many are sick, waiting for answers from our government”, said Dr Manasseh.
While the parents called for ‘closure’ on the incident, they reminded President Muhammadu Buhari of his inaugural promise to see to their release.
“We remind President Muhammadu Buhari of his statement at his inauguration in 2015 that ‘We cannot claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents. But the actions – or rather, the inactions – of the Federal Government over our daughters, while repeatedly claiming that the terrorists have been defeated while our girls remain in bondage, is a painful reminder that this administration does not value the lives of our precious girls who have been abandoned by the government that is supposed to protect them.
This is without a doubt that we appreciate the efforts done in the past to rescue the first batch of 21 girls and the second batch of 82 girls, but the Government must know that each child is special in a special way to their parents. Even when all the girls are rescued and remain one as the case of Dapchi, where Leah Sharibu was kept behind, her parents are still in unimaginable pains and deserve justice, so are the remaining parents of the 112 Chibok girls”, the stated.
‘Buhari midwife kidnap industry’
Chairperson, Strategic Team of the Bring Back Our Girls Movement, Florence Ozor in her welcome address said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has provided a conducive environment for crime to thrive in the country.
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has midwife a full-fledged kidnapping industry of both school children and individuals and aid workers in the North-East with Alice Nggadah a UNICEF health worker still in captivity following the execution of Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, and Hauwa Mohammed Liman both midwives with ICRC, her colleagues.
“This industry is aided by the government’s machinery of propaganda observed in the repeated campaigns ‘recurring killings of Shekau’ who according to the regime has been killed at least four times, ‘technical defeat’, ‘decimation of Boko Haram’, and the issuing of threats that do nothing to deter the criminals”.
She recalled how the President Goodluck Jonathan administration had set up the ‘Presidential Fact-Finding Committee on the Abduction of the Chibok Schoolgirls’ headed by Ibrahim Sabo, a retired Nigerian Army brigadier-general to assuage global outcry.
The committee submitted its report on 20 June 2014, and since then, nothing has been heard of the report nor has any implementation based on the report been communicated to the public even by the successor administration.
The government of President Muhammadu Buhari campaigned on a tripod of promises, security, and the rescue of our girls being one. Six years after that pledge, 112 Chibok girls remain in captivity, and to worsen matters, we have continued to see graduating incompetence of this government with an unending spate of school children’s abductions.
“February 19th, 2018: 113 girls from Government Girls Secondary School and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State were abducted, and by the magnanimity shown by the criminals, 107 girls were returned, 5 reported dead, and the lone Christian girl- Leah Sharibu remains in captivity.
“December 11th, 2020: 344 boys of the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State (The home state of the president during his visit) were abducted and their rescue was secured by negotiations.
December 20th, 2020: 80 students of Islamiya schools Mahuta Town, Katsina State were abducted and their rescue was secured by negotiations.
February 17th, 2021: 27 students of Government Science College Kagara, Niger State was abducted and their rescue was secured by negotiations.
February 26th, 2021: 317 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Zamfara State were abducted and their rescue secured by negotiations.
Nigeria is under a siege of insecurity, no one is spared, and citizens did not vote for this turn of events and the condescending indifference from the president.
“It has been 7 years too long for our girls, their parents, our movement, and the nation. It is our earnest hope that this is the last lecture we will hold with our girls in captivity and that insecurity becomes a thing of the past”, she stated.