From Okwe Obi, Abuja
After seven years in captivity, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has said the Federal Government has not abandoned the Chibok schoolgirls, stating that government has been on its toes to secure their release.
In a statement by her Special Adviser on Media, Nneka Ikem Anibeze, the minister expressed deep grieve over the plight of the girls and prayed that the remaining victims would be reunited with their families soon.
“It grieves me to have to mark this seventh anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok girls. Our government came into power with a public mandate to control insurgency in the North East that led to the Chibok girls’ abduction and to fight corruption that hampered the rescue effort. We have achieved a lot, but significant work remains for all levels of government. Half of the Chibok girls have been rescued and reunited with their families and have resumed their education. We will continue working to bring back those left behind.”
The minister said local, state and federal governments have improved on their response to attacks on schools and are working assiduously to prevent further occurrences.
“I cannot speak openly about the security strategies and measures, but I can assure you that government holds the safety and security of its citizens as a sacred duty. We are fighting a regional tide of criminality and violent extremism in partnership with others. Let me assure parents of the Chibok girls, Leah Sharibu and other abductees, that this government has not forgotten you. We have heard your demands and the responsible ministries and agencies will respond on behalf of the government.
“All our children deserve an education. Our country needs them to be educated for our development. No one should have to choose between school and safety. We will employ all our efforts to give every Nigerian child the opportunity to rise out of poverty and attain their ambitions through education,” Farouq said.