Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Buhari to Chibok parents: Your daughters won't be abandoned, forgotten

Parents in Nigeria are wondering whether the government can keep their schoolgirls safe At least 1000 children in Nigeria abducted by militant group since 2013: UNICEF
Ellis Copeland | 14 April, 2018, 20:43

He said the return of over 100 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram from Dapchi, a town in Nigeria's Yobe State should reassure parents in Chibok that their daughters will return home.

Some of the girls were freed a year ago following negotiation talks between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram.

Fifty-seven escaped in the immediate aftermath and four years on, 112 are still being held - a global symbol of the Islamist insurgency that has devastated the region.

"Some of the Chibok parents have since that day began to lose hope and even more psychologically troubled thinking that if the girl Leah is being held back because she is a Christian, it means they may never see their daughters again, because majority that are in captivity now are all Christians".

In a similar vein, ActionAid Nigeria has expressed solidarity with the families, friends and the Chibok community over the remaining Chibok schoolgirls in Boko Haram captivity.

The Imam of Falomo Police Mosque, Imam Tajudeen Adebayo, during the interfaith prayers, thanked Allah for those that were released and prayed that the remaining girls would also be rescued.

In a statement released on the eve of the April 14, fourth anniversary of the kidnap of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State, the United Nations agency also said more than 1,000 children had been abducted and 1,400 schools destroyed by the terrorists in the region since 2013.

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Speaking in the Hausa language, she said, "We are the Chibok girls..."

According to the organisers, all invitation were duly sent to both state and federal government officials as well as the local government council of Chibok to attend the commemoration service but the event turned out poorly attended.

"We know that this is not the news parents want to hear after four whole years of waiting, but we want to be as honest as possible with you. But when it comes to not knowing the faith that befell your missing child can be very tough", he said.

So far, the current administration has been able to secure the release of 103 of them while a few others have been rescued.

He said federal government should also be forthcoming with credible information about the remaining girls.

"The four-year anniversary of the Chibok abduction reminds us that children in northeastern Nigeria continue to come under attack at a shocking scale", UNICEF Representative in Nigeria Mohamed Malick Fall said in a statement.

Leader of a Boko Haram faction, Abubakar Shekau, said in a video message that the girls have converted to Islam and have been 'married off'. "But that does not set aside the need for all of them to be rescued by government".

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