Voice of America (Washington, DC)

Nigeria: Chibok Elder Displeased With Nigeria Presidential Committee

A prominent member of the Chibok Elders Forum, in Nigeria's Borno State, says the presidential fact-finding committee on the abduction of the schoolgirls by Boko Haram failed to meet the group or visit Chibok as part of its work despite repeated promises to do so.

Malam Shettima Dunoma says the Chibok elders plan to organize a series of rallies in all Chibok communities to pressure President Goodluck Jonathan's government to do more to bring their girls back home.

He says the elders wanted to hear committee's plans to expedite the search for the abducted girls.

"We are at home and any group of people who say they are coming, we are very anxious to hear from them [if] they are bringing our girls back," said Dunoma. "So, any organization who says they are coming to Chibok, we are very anxious to see or to hear what they will tell us or maybe they are bringing our girls back."

Local media report confirmed that members of the presidential fact finding committee have since flown back to the capital, Abuja without visiting Chibok. The report also suggests that the group was unable to visit Chibok due to security concerns in that part of the country.

Dunoma says residents of Chibok feel abandoned by the government in Abuja.

"We are really feeling bad some of us even feel neglected side in the country, "said Dunoma. "Because this thing [abduction of school girls] has never happened in any corner of the country, so why should [it] be Chibok girls? Why? Because we are neglected."

Some analysts have said that Kashim Shettima the governor of Borno State should have improved security in the schools contending that it could have prevented the Boko Haram Islamist extremists from abducting the school girls.

But, Dunoma says the governor is not to blame for the abduction of the school girls.

He says the administration in Abuja has the security mandate to protect civilians in the country.

Dunoma says he has yet to see any significant impact the presidential committee is going to make in the effort to bring back the abducted girls to their families.

The abduction of the school girls about five weeks ago has generated wide global condemnation and led to some western countries, including the United States and France, to volunteer security experts to help Nigeria's administration search for the school girls.

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