The people of Chibok community, where more than 200 girls were kidnapped on April 14, 2014, yesterday, sent a delegation to President Goodluck Jonathan asking the government to put more efforts into re-taking of the remaining areas of Borno State occupied by Islamist extremist group Boko Haram.
The delegation was led by Malam Dunamo Mpur Chibok, Chairman of the Parents-Teachers Association, PTA, of the Government Girls Secondary School, GGSS, Chibok.
“We are concerned that the military said that they have not got information about our daughters in the areas they have recaptured. We want the Federal Government to expedite action to clear the remaining two local government areas as we hope and a wait the rescue of our daughters,” he said.
However, the PTA chairman dismissed reports that the community rejected the reconstruction of GGSS Chibok and other schools destroyed by Boko Haram in the area.
Reports last week said that a group which claimed to represent Chibok rejected the reconstruction of the schools saying they only wanted the girls rescued.
The new delegation which comprise parents, however, said those who addressed the press in Maiduguri rejecting the reconstruction of burnt schools did not represent the grieving parents of the Chibok girls.
“Our prayers are with our daughters and we hope and pray to see them very soon. We need them home and soonest, but this will not stop us from agreeing with the fact that we need our school rebuilt as we hopefully await their arrival home. Within the community, we have children that are redundant at home who have not been able to go to school.”
The Secretary of the Kibaku Area Development Association, Dr. Allen Manasseh, in his remarks said that Chibok was grieving for the abducted girls, as well as, having all their children out of school.
He specifically said Mrs. Sarah Paul, a parent of one of the kidnapped girls, had eight children and that besides her abducted daughter, the other seven children were all at home, without attending school, in the last one year.
He expressed regret about the politicization of the abduction of the girls but urged the government to remain steadfast in the search for the girls with a view to returning them safe to their parents.
Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who received the parents expressed satisfaction and relieve about their position.
“We are very pleased to have this unexpected visit from you. We are very happy that you came all the way from Chibok to make your position on this matter clear. I will relate it to Mr. President. It was very confusing when we heard that Chibok community rejected re-construction of the school.
“Getting our children back to school cannot be politicized. Save Schools Initiative is not about politics. It is about development,” she said.