THIRTY-SEVEN parents of the 276 girls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, on April 14, 2014, have died since the incident.
A sibling to one of the abductees, Ayuba Alamson, made the claim in Abuja on Saturday, May 20, at an event organised by Women Radio to commemorate nine years of the abduction and remind President Muhammadu Buhari of his vow to rescue the girls.
He said the parents of the remaining girls who were yet to return were traumatised and abandoned by the government.
Alamson explained that some of the girls who regained freedom went to secondary schools in Jos, Plateau State, to complete their education.
He claimed the girls who have finished their secondary education have since been at home without anyone helping them get admission into the university, adding that those who were not patient among them had married.
Besides, he alleged there was a report that the Federal Government budgeted N1 billion to support families of kidnapped schoolchildren in the country. But, according to him, none of the families affected has received a dime from the money.
The organiser of the event showed a documentary video of a survivor, parents and siblings of the abductees, who narrated their pains and expressed hope for a safe return of the remaining girls.
The ICIR reports that President Muhammadu Buhari promised to rescue all the girls while campaigning for the Presidency in 2015.
“I have had the opportunity to serve my country in the military up to the highest level, as a Major General and as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. In the course of my service, I defended the territorial integrity of Nigeria, and if called upon to do so again, I shall rise to the occasion.
“As a father, I feel the pain of the victims of insurgency, kidnapping and violence. Under my watch, no force, external or internal, will occupy even an inch of Nigerian soil. I will give it all it takes to ensure that our girls kidnapped from Chibok are rescued and reintegrated with their families,” Buhari said.
Despite the vow made by Buhari about eight years ago, 93 of the Chibok Girls remain in captivity.
President Buhari leaves office in nine days – May 29.
Speaking at the forum on Saturday, a journalist with HumAngle, Murtala Abdullahi, said the Buhari government’s failure to rescue the girls was a reflection of the Nigerian society.
“It’s a reflection of the Nigerian society. We don’t look out for vulnerable people.”
He said the media had done many reports on the crisis and others which occurred after it under the Buhari administration without corresponding results from the government and the insurgents.
Another panellist, Chief Executive Officer, CODE Hazmat Lawal, noted that the Nigerian government had abdicated its responsibility of providing security.
“School should be a safe place. Even at war, there are places you should not attack, like schools and hospitals.”
He said the government never admitted that the girls were missing until the media and civil society organisations sustained an outcry.
He, however, expressed hope that the girls would be released under the Bola Tinubu presidency, given that the Vice-President-elect, Kashim Shettima, was the governor of Borno State when insurgents took away the girls.
Speaking on the Buhari government’s attitude to Nigerians kidnapped by terrorists and other criminals, Executive Director Leah Sharibu Foundation, Gloria Puldu, said the President only contacted Leah Sharibu’s family three times since she was abducted with other girls in her at the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, Yobe State in 2018.
According to her, Buhari called her parents seven months after the abduction. The President also sent his ministers of Information and Women Affairs to the family.
She called on the incoming President, Bola Tinubu, to help rescue the remaining girls.
Speaking with The ICIR, co-founder of Women Radio 91.7, Toun Okewale Sonaiya, said, “Members of the family of the children that have been abducted, the government has the responsibility towards their welfare, and what they are saying is that the government is not taking care of them. That is their allegation.
“That is what they said to us. We brought one of the parents here who said they were not being taken care of. They’re dying from high blood pressure, from all sorts of illnesses, from trauma. They are being forgotten. We want to make a demand of the government that it has the responsibility to take care of these families.”