Daily Trust (Abuja)

28 April 2014

Nigeria: Abducted School Girls - FG Has Failed Us, Chibok Elders Say

Photo: Screenshot
Islamists hold girls kidnapped from schools.

The Federal government has failed in its primary responsibility to secure the release of over 200 secondary school girls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents two weeks ago in Borno State, the leader of Chibok Elders Forum, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, has said.

About 270 girls were abducted by suspected Boko Haram insurgents from a secondary school in Chibak two weeks ago.

Over forty of the girls had managed to escape from their captors but the rest are still in captivity and there are serious concerns in the country about their fate.

Speaking to Daily Trust in Abuja yesterday, Dr. Bitrus said they have now handed over their case to God as the government was not in any way giving them hope that their daughters will be released soon.

He said the expanded security meeting hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan last week has not yielded any result even after the meeting expressed commitment to securing the release of the girls."We are not also aware of any serious effort to secure the release of the girls. We heard that the military moved troops to the forests days back but we don't know what they are doing," he said.

The Chibok elders said rumours that the insurgents were marrying off the girls to themselves may be true because of the report they got from those that were escaped.

"All we know is that 230 of our daughters are in captivity, we are waiting on government which is suppose to provide security and welfare for its citizens to get them released and return them to their parents," he said.

"Government has not provided succor to the parents and to the girls themselves by getting them released. "It is very disappointing when I read in the papers that America is trying to assist. What is wrong with Nigeria? We have a lot of unanswered questions and as parents we are still waiting for what government will do to its citizens... these poor girls in their schools who were kidnapped. It worries us and this is now getting to two weeks."

Regarding the parents of the abducted girls presently, Dr. Bitrus said: "All parents are traumatized and since the parents went into the forest in search of their daughters before they were warned not to jeopardize the lives of their children and they themselves, so they retreated.

"We started having hope when the President hosted the expanded security council meeting where they said they were all committed to seeing that the girls are released but up to today nothing has happened, because we have not heard anything relating to release of any of the girls in captivity. We are still waiting and we have surrendered everything to God but the government should know that it has the primary responsibility to its citizens to secure the girls and return them to their parents."

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