Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said the abduction of schoolgirls from the Government Secondary School of Chibok, Borno state, by Boko Haram is the worst crime against Nigerian citizens.
In a Statement to mark the 3rd anniversary of the girls abductions on April 14, President Buhari reassured the parents of the Chibok girls that his government is not relenting on the issue of the safe return of the remaining Chibok girls. He expressed appreciation for families that “have had to endure 3 years of agony” and appealed that they should not lose hope on the return of the remaining schoolgirls.
Disclosing that Government is currently negotiating, through local intelligence to secure the release of the remaining girls and other abducted persons unharmed, President Muhammadu Buhari called on all Nigerians to remain vigilant and report any suspicious elements or group to the security agencies.
He said Nigerians have had every reason to celebrate the return of 24 of the girls and thousands of other Nigerians who were forcefully abducted by the terrorists. The government has a reintegration progam for the freed girls.
Emir of Kano Urges BBOG to Expand Its Focus
Shahida Sanusi, speaking on behalf of her father, Lamido Sanusi, the Emir of Kano at an event organized by the Bring Back our Girls (BBOG) Project to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of the abduction of the girls, called on BBOG, to transform itself from a group defined by the narrow focus on an incident, to one that addresses the broader social reality of women in Nigeria, particularly the North of the country.
Congratulating the BBOG for having kept alive this issue of the Chibok girls capture over the past three years Sanussi reminded the gathering that the girls only constitute a fraction of the victims of this insurgency and urged BBOG to broaden its message to cover all girls and boys abducted by Boko Haram.
“The issues faced by women go beyond girl-child education, early marriage and poverty, educated women still have to deal with issues of equal opportunities in the work-place, and unwritten but no less real gender discrimination,” Sanussi added.
Other activities for the 3rd anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok girls include planting of anniversary trees and tying ribbons to commemorate the day.
Out of the over 200 abducted by Boko Haram from Government Girls Secondary school in Chibok, Borno State, North East of Nigeria in April 2014, about 24 were released last October, some were reported to have escaped from the captivity of the Boko Haram, and over 150 girls are still in captivity.
Veronica Ogbole / Nigeria