Chi­bok women blast FG on ab­ducted girls Ndume calls for for­eign sup­port

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Ojoma Akor & Tu­raki A. Has­san

Women from Chi­bok, the com­mu­nity where over 200 girls were ab­ducted more than two weeks ago, have con­demned what they de­scribed as the federal govern­ment’s in­ac­tion in res­cu­ing the teenage girls.

The women, who came un­der the aegis of Kibaku Area De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, Abuja branch, said this yes­ter­day when they marched from the Ea­gle Square to the Na­tional As­sem­bly in Abuja to press govern­ment to take ac­tion to free the girls.

Over 200 girls were ab­ducted from Govern­ment Girls Sec­ondary School, Chi­bok, Borno State, by sus­pected Boko Haram in­sur­gents on April 14.

The protest­ing women who wept dur­ing the rally car­ried plac­ards bear­ing such in­scrip­tions as, ‘Nigeria, our chil­dren are still miss­ing,’ FGN res­cue our girls,’ ‘Our girls held for 15 days now,’ ‘A vac­uum cre­ated help!’ among oth­ers.

Speak­ing on be­half of the women, Mrs. Naomi Mu­tah said they de­cided to hold the protest be­cause more than two weeks af­ter the ab­duc­tion of the school girls, they have not heard any­thing from the govern­ment.

She said: “It is now the third weeks since these girls were ab­ducted like cows for the slaugh­ter house. We don’t know if they are alive or dead. No­body from govern­ment has spo­ken to us as a com­mu­nity. We have come here to ex­press our dis­plea­sure and prob­a­bly when they see us for them­selves like this; it will pro­pel them to do what they are sup­posed to do.

“We want the govern­ment to res­cue our daugh­ters from the hands of the ab­duc­tors. As far as I am con­cerned as I am talk­ing to you we are not sat­is­fied. So they should do more. Our people in Chi­bok are very dev­as­tated and hy­per­ten­sive. We are very wor­ried that we may not see our daugh­ters again,” she said.

An in­di­gene of Chi­bok, Lawal Aubani whose three nieces are among the ab­ducted girls said: “Govern­ment is not do­ing enough, they should re-strate­gize if need be to res­cue the girls.”

Mary Bat­tah, an­other Chi­bok woman said the women are very sad and pained about the ab­duc­tion say­ing “women and girls are very vul­ner­a­ble (and) harm­less people. (They have) been ab­ducted for 15 days noth­ing con­crete has been done. All that we see is on the pages of news­pa­per.”

High­lights of the protest was when Se­na­tor Ali Ndume, who rep­re­sents Borno South, came out of the se­nate ses­sion to lead the women in prayer for God’s divine in­ter­ven­tion in res­cu­ing the girls.

Field­ing ques­tions from jour­nal­ists, Se­na­tor Ndume said govern­ment needed to in­ten­sify ac­tion even if it meant seek­ing ex­ter­nal sup­port to res­cue the girls.

“Even if it means seek­ing ex­ter­nal sup­port to make sure these girls are re­leased-the longer it takes the dimmer the chances of find­ing them and the longer it takes the more trau­ma­tized the fam­ily and the ab­ducted girls are,” he said.

The protest­ing women also pre­sented a let­ter to the Min­is­ter of Women Af­fairs and So­cial De­vel­op­ment Ha­jiya Zainab Maina for on­ward trans­mis­sion to Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan. Speak­ing separately, Se­na­tor He­len Esuene and Se­na­tor Zainab Kure told the women to be pa­tient that the govern­ment was not re­lent­ing in its ef­forts in find­ing the girls.

PHOTO Macjohn Akande

Chi­bok women plead­ing for the res­cue of the ab­ducted school­girls, in Abuja yes­ter­day.

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