7 more Borno school­girls es­cape from B/Haram

This is my most trou­bling mo­ment –Shet­tima

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Hamza Idris, Maiduguri

The Borno State Gov­ern­m­net yes­ter­day said seven more of the schools girls ab­ducted have fled their cap­tors and re­joined their fam­i­lies.

A state­ment by Gover­nor Kashim Shet­tima’s spokesman Isa Gusau last night said this bring the num­ber of fe­male stu­dents so far found to 52, leav­ing 77 still miss­ing.

The school­girls were taken by sus­pected Boko Haram gun­men from the Govern­ment Girls Sec­ondary School Chi­bok last week.

The state­ment yes­ter­day did not say specif­i­cally how the lat­est es­capees fled their cap­tors.

In his Easter mes­sage yes­ter­day, Shet­tima de­scribed the last one week as his most trou­bling mo­ment since he took over the man­tle of af­fairs in May 2011.

He said though he had wit­nessed very dark days of in­sur­gency in­her­ited by his ad­min­is­tra­tion, none of the at­tacks had been more trou­bling for him than the ab­duc­tion of the stu­dents.

“I have seen very se­ri­ous mo­ments since I be­came the Gover­nor of Borno State in 2011 at a pe­riod of in­sur­gent cri­sis. I have seen many in­no­cent lives lost for no rea­son and I mourn ev­ery life lost with em­pa­thy and high sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity,” Shet­tima said.

“But the last one week have been my worst days as a gover­nor and even the worst in my life. I am trou­bled as a fa­ther, as a leader and as a politi­cian.

“First, as a fa­ther, any time my young daugh­ter comes around me in the last one week at the Govern­ment House, my heart beats very fast, my heart be­come so heavy and I de­velop se­ri­ous headache be­cause when I look into the eyes of my young daugh­ter, I won­der how the par­ents of these our stu­dents feel when faced with the harsh re­al­ity that their lov­ing daugh­ters are ei­ther in the hands of ab­duc­tors in fear and des­per­a­tion for free­dom or won­der­ing some­where look­ing for safety while par­ents do not know the sta­tus of their chil­dren.

“I took a sym­pa­thetic note of one par­tic­u­lar par­ent who re­port­edly said he pre­ferred see­ing his daugh­ter’s corpse than the trauma of hav­ing her ab­ducted.

“It is my very strong hope that all the stu­dents will come out of ab­duc­tion safely. But as a fa­ther to a girl child I know ex­actly what is cur­rently trou­bling the minds of par­ents and re­la­tions who are yet to see their chil­dren, I am deeply pained and I very much share the ag­o­nies of par­ents.

“More than ev­ery­one, as the leader, on whose area of gov­er­nance, this un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent took place, I am very anx­ious to have our daugh­ters freed be­cause I know very well that the most im­por­tant obli­ga­tion of any Govern­ment be it at the Federal, State or Lo­cal Govern­ment level is to en­sure the safety and wel­fare of its good cit­i­zens.

“Ev­ery good cit­i­zen de­serves safety as a fun­da­men­tal hu­man need and right un­der a demo­cratic sys­tem of gov­er­nance.”

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