Miss­ing school­girls: Chi­bok elders flay FG

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Tu­raki A. Has­san

The Federal govern­ment has failed in its pri­mary re­spon­si­bil­ity to se­cure the re­lease of over 200 sec­ondary school girls ab­ducted by Boko Haram in­sur­gents two weeks ago in Borno State, the leader of Chi­bok Elders Fo­rum, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, has said.

About 270 girls were ab­ducted by sus­pected Boko Haram in­sur­gents from a sec­ondary school in Chibak two weeks ago.

Over forty of the girls had man­aged to es­cape from their cap­tors but the rest are still in cap­tiv­ity and there are se­ri­ous con­cerns in the coun­try about their fate.

Speak­ing to Daily Trust in Abuja yes­ter­day, Dr. Bitrus said they have now handed over their case to God as the govern­ment was not in any way giv­ing them hope that their daugh­ters will be re­leased soon.

He said the ex­panded se­cu­rity meet­ing hosted by Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan last week has not yielded any re­sult even af­ter the meet­ing ex­pressed com­mit­ment to se­cur­ing the re­lease of the girls.“We are not also aware of any se­ri­ous ef­fort to se­cure the re­lease of the girls. We heard that the mil­i­tary moved troops to the forests days back but we don’t know what they are do­ing,” he said.

The Chi­bok elders said ru­mours that the in­sur­gents were mar­ry­ing off the girls to them­selves may be true be­cause of the re­port they got from those that were es­caped.

“All we know is that 230 of our daugh­ters are in cap­tiv­ity, we are wait­ing on govern­ment which is sup­pose to pro­vide se­cu­rity and wel­fare for its cit­i­zens to get them re­leased and re­turn them to their par­ents,” he said.

“Govern­ment has not pro­vided suc­cor to the par­ents and to the girls them­selves by get­ting them re­leased. “It is very dis­ap­point­ing when I read in the pa­pers that Amer­ica is try­ing to as­sist. What is wrong with Nigeria? We have a lot of unan­swered ques­tions and as par­ents we are still wait­ing for what govern­ment will do to its cit­i­zens... these poor girls in their schools who were kid­napped. It wor­ries us and this is now get­ting to two weeks.”

Re­gard­ing the par­ents of the ab­ducted girls presently, Dr. Bitrus said: “All par­ents are trau­ma­tized and since the par­ents went into the for­est in search of their daugh­ters be­fore they were warned not to jeop­ar­dize the lives of their chil­dren and they them­selves, so they re­treated.

“We started hav­ing hope when the Pres­i­dent hosted the ex­panded se­cu­rity coun­cil meet­ing where they said they were all com­mit­ted to see­ing that the girls are re­leased but up to to­day noth­ing has hap­pened, be­cause we have not heard any­thing re­lat­ing to re­lease of any of the girls in cap­tiv­ity. We are still wait­ing and we have sur­ren­dered ev­ery­thing to God but the govern­ment should know that it has the pri­mary re­spon­si­bil­ity to its cit­i­zens to se­cure the girls and re­turn them to their par­ents.”

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