(Timothy Olanrewaju, MAIDUGURI; Fred Itua, Julian Taiwo- Obalonye and Kemi Yesufu, ABUJA)
DISTRESSED parents and relations of the Chibok schoolgirls yesterday insisted that only the rescue of their daughters would end their pains. They flayed what they called inability of the Federal Government to secure the release of the teenagers two years after.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari said he shares in the pain of the girls’ continued absence from home even as he assured that his administration will do everything to ensure the girls are returned safe and unharmed.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari said he frequently reflects on the ordeal of the captives in the hands of Boko Haram terrorists.
Pogu Bitrus, chairman of Chibok Community Development Association, said no fewer than 14 of the Chibok girls’ parents have died.
Speaking at the Commemorative Service in Chibok yesterday, chairman of the parents, Mr. Yakubu Nkeki said the entire community has been grieving since April 14, 2014 when the girls were abducted from thier hostels at the Government Secondary School. He said more worrisome was the uncertainty that surrounds the whereabouts of their daughters and their condition.
“We cannot fathom your definite location and the condition you are in right now. Are you alive or dead?
Are you pregnant, put to bed or empty? Have you eaten the food of your choice or forced to eat something against your will? Have you taken your bath today? How do you take care of yourself during your menstrual flow?” he asked rhetorically.
He said they were aware nobody could answer some of the posers except the abductors of their daughters, urging the government to step up efforts at freeing the girls.
Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, who led a Federal Government delegation to Chibok for the commemorative event at the Government Secondary School, Chibok said the President was committed to securing the release of the girls. She said the government, however, couldn’t give definite period for their release.
Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima said former President Goodluck Jonathan should be blamed for the woes of the Chibok parents.
He said the schoolgirls would have been freed few days after the abduction had the president acted.
“The president didn’t even believe the adduction took place. Perhaps, that was why he and his wife never visited Chibok even for once. One noisy governor even recently said the abduction of our daughters was false. This clearly shows their mentality,” he said.
NASS tasks FG
The plight of the Chibok girls and their parents also came under focus yesterday at both chambers of the National Assembly as the lawmakers called on the Federal Government to intensify effort too ensure their rescue.
While the senate unanimously resolved that the National Security Adviser (NSA) and all the Service Chiefs be invited to brief the Senate in a closed door session on their efforts so far at recovering the abducted girls, the House of Representatives resolved to send a delegation to Chibok.
While contributing to a motion tagged: “The abduction of Chibok schoolgirls- two years after”, Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, wondered why those who led protests against the government of former president Goodluck Jonathan to rescue the girls have suddenly kept mum.
The sponsor of the motion, Senator Dino Melaye while lamenting the plight of the girls and their parents, said the Federal Government cannot be said to have succeeded until the girls are rescued.
On its part, the House of Representatives tasked the Federal Government to deploy every means available to it to rescue the missing girls.
The call was subsequent to the passage of a motion entitled: “Need to intensify search and rescue of the missing Chibok schoolgirls” sponsored by Asabe Bashir.
The lawmakers also resolved to send a delegation to Chibok even as they held a moment of silence in honor of the parents of the abducted schoolgirls who have passed on, soldiers and all others killed by the insurgents.