Chibok community has rejected the gesture by the Nigerian government to reconstruct the Government Secondary School, Chibok, where over 200 schoolgirls were abducted on April 14, 2014, insisting on the return of the girls first.
The group rejected the safe school initiative of the government at a press conference attended by over 1,000 indigenes of Chibok to react to the recent surprise visit of a Nigerian government delegation led by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
At that visit by the Minister, the foundation stone for the reconstruction of some destroyed structures of the Chibok school was laid.
“It is disheartening to inform you that since the abduction of these girls, the Federal Government did not bother to send delegations to Chibok to sympathise with the parents, instead, the parents were invited to Abuja and conveyed in cargo military plane with no comfort whatsoever,” the group said.
The Chibok community led by the Caretaker Chairman of Chibok Council Area, Mr Ba’ana Lawan, accused the Federal Government of several broken promises of rescuing the over 200 abducted schoolgirls.
The community frowned at the recent visit by President Goodluck Jonathan to some communities ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency without similar visit to Chibok to sympathise with the people for the abduction.
“We still observed that recently, President Goodluck Jonathan visited Mubi and Baga, but failed to visit Chibok to sympathise with our people,” the chairman said, emphasising that priority should be given to the rescue of the schoolgirls rather than the rebuilding of the destroyed school.
“We are dismay over the Federal Government’s move to rebuild Government Secondary School (GSS), Chibok which was destroyed by the insurgents during the abduction of the schoolgirls,” Mr Lawan stated.
He said the traumatised parents and the entire people of Chibok community only want their children back home.
“We also observed that the President and Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh had severally promised that these girls will soon be released, but is it is now more than 300 days, and nothing of such happen.
“We thank God and appreciate Governor Kashim Shettima and his wife, Nana Kashim Shettima who did not only visited Chibok when the incident took place, but also secured admission for 59 schoolgirls that escaped from Boko Haram captivity to study in various schools in the country and for all the other assistance the couples have rendered to the parents.
“It is most unfortunate that Chibok local government area has witnessed six different attacks by insurgents with about 300 people losing their lives and property worth millions of naira destroyed, hundreds of houses razed down as well as food and cash crops looted, yet there was no response from the Federal Government,” he lamented.
Mr Lawan strongly condemned the Federal Government’s decision to reconstruct the school where the girls were abducted instead of keeping its numerous promises of returning the girls.