BY ABDULLAHI ISAH, MAIDUGURI
The parents of the Chibok school girls that were abducted over two years ago by suspected Boko Haram terrorists have called on the Federal Government not to allow their children believed to be schooling in the United States to become money making tools.
Speaking shortly after a meeting with the Minister of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Alhassan Friday, the chairman of the association of the abducted Chibok girls, Mr. Yakubu Nkeki said they learnt that their children are being used as money making tools and were being moved from one city to the other instead of being allowed to stay in schools as they were promised.
“Our children were taken to the US not for tourism but to come back to us with certificates, so we call on the Federal Government to intervene to save our children,” he stated.
They equally, technically, distanced themselves from the Bring Back Our Girls, BBOG, campaigners. Nkeki said: “we also disassociate ourselves from any persons or NGOs using any abusive words on the Federal Government. We are behind the FG and the military and are calling on them to rescue our children healthy and sound. We in Chibok respect constitutional authorities”.
Earlier in her remarks, Senator Alhassan said she was in Maiduguri to meet with the parents of the abducted girls to chart a way forward.
She said, “Although I am in Maiduguri to represent her Excellency, the wife of Mr. President, Hajiya Aisha Buhari for the official launching of micro finance scheme for about 1000 women in the state, I used the opportunity to meet with parents of the missing and rescued Chibok schoolgirls to know the true position of things.
“As you are all aware, over 200 Chibok girls were abducted by insurgents in the last two years during the previous government. Some of them were able to escape from captivity, thereby generating a lot of heated debates as the issue is now being politicized”, she added.
The Minister said “We met with some of the affected parents and guardians of these missing schoolgirls, and we found out that, none of these much talked about 15 rescued ones were ever admitted in any school to further their education in US as claimed, rather, they were turned into an avenue to generate money for the NGOs that took them from their parents in Chibok some months back. These NGOs, according to our investigation, normally takes these girls from one Parliament to another collecting money for their own interest at the detriment of these victims.
“It is unfortunate to note that, until when we made contact with the Murtala Mohammed Foundation based in the US before they were able to adopt and begin to take proper care of five out of these 15 rescued Chibok girls, while the other ones went into wrong hands, as they were never admitted into any schools, but were turned into slaves,” the Minister stated.
The meeting, which was held behind closed doors at the Presidential Lodge 1, Government House, Maiduguri, according to the Minister was at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari and is intended to work out modalities on how the Federal Government will liaise with US foreign agencies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria to trace the whereabouts of the girls who are presently in the hands of NGOs based in the US, who have been feeding fat in the name of sponsoring the education of these rescued victims.
She said that the federal government is committed to ensuring that the schoolgirls that are still in captivity are freed soon, so that they will continue their education in better schools in the country.
In his remarks, Chairman of Chibok Council Area, Mr. Yarakawa thanked President Buhari for his commitment towards degrading remnants of Boko Haram and restoring peace in the North East, insisting that, they want their rescued girls who are presently in the US back to Nigeria in order to continue their schooling locally or nationally.
He however called on the military to intensify efforts aimed at rescuing the over 200 of their daughters still in captivity, even as they cautioned the #BBOGs group to ‘desist from denigrating federal government’s sincere moves to rescue the girls by their protests and comments on the saga on the streets of Abuja’.