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Buhari has neglected us, Chibok parents lament

Buhari has neglected us, Chibok parents lament
November 16
15:37 2015
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Parents of the 219 female students abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents in Chibok, Borno state, say both the federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari and the state governments have left them to their fate.

Speaking in Lagos at the weekend during a session with Graca Machel, widow of Nelson Mandela, the parents said most of them have been displaced from their homes as a result of the sect’s activities.

One after the other, they relayed to the audience, their painful experiences, commending the Murtala Muhammed Foundation for providing the platform to redirect the attention of the world to their plight.

“We are appealing to you to help us tell the world how we can have our children back,” said Yakubu Nkaki, chairman of the Chibok adopted girls movement.

“We are surprised that despite the recent rescue operations carried out by the military, none of our daughters has been found. 219 of them are still missing.

“Eighteen parents have been buried since the abduction and we don’t want to bury anyone again. Some of us now live in internally displaced camps. Boko Haram has destroyed Chibok. No school has opened since that attack and our remaining children in the community have been at home doing nothing for nearly two years.

“We are afraid to go to the farm; some of us now live in the bush; life has almost lost meaning.”

Graca

Murtala Muhammed’s daughter, Mandela’s widow and Fred Swaniker, founder of African Leadership Network

Ali Askira, whose two daughters are among the captive, is fed up with the promises that have not yielded results.

He wants the government to give a clearer picture of the situation.

“They should tell us if we will not see them again so that we can rest,” he said in a tone laced with anger.

“We have been hearing time and time again that they will be released but up till now nothing. No official of the local, state or federal government has visited us since. They don’t even care about how we have been surviving.

“Recently, when one man [possibly referring to Olu Falae] was kidnapped, the president ordered the inspector-general of police to wade in and he regained freedom but our children, 217 of them are nowhere to be found. Is it because we don’t matter? We are the ones who struggled to raise these children. What have we done to Nigeria deserve this?

“I prefer to see the corpses of my daughters and accept my fate than to remain like this.”

But Esther Yakubu, another parent, is optimistic about reuniting with her daughter.

“I am hopeful that one day as the whole world has cried, we will have cause to rejoice,” said the woman who broke down intermittently during her brief speech.

Graca 2

Mandela’s wife said this picture means a lot to her

Aisha Oyebode, daughter of the late Murtala Muhammed and chief executive officer of the foundation, comforted the parents telling them not to give up, saying: “Often times, I feel helpless when I think of the situation and I imagine how they (the parents) feel if I am feelng this way. We will continue to appeal to the government to do its best in ensuring that these girls are freed.”

Responding, Machel assured the parents that the world had not forgotten them.

She said she decided to meet with them to show solidarity and listen to their complaints in order to make a case for them in the international community.

Machel, who goes into history as the only woman to have been the first lady of two different countries – she was also married to Samora Machel, former president of Mozambique – drew so much emotion when she spoke.

“I have to say my heart is heavy; I’m a mother and also a grandmother. I know how it feels for a parent not to know the fate of their children,” she said.

“I shook hands with you and I felt your pains; I know how you feel, we all have blood flowing in us. I have heard your cries and I will not forget. I feel your pains and I will never forget.

“You have asked me to speak to the government; you have asked me to tell the world about your plight … I want you to know that despite the fact that we have not been able to bring the girls back, the world has not forgotten you.

“I won’t be honest if I say I will bring back the girls but we are hopeful. We have to make sure that the girls come back and we have spoken about that a lot but what we have not done enough is to talk about the parents. The psychological trauma that they go through, and that is one of the reasons that I am here.

“I will never forget not only what you have said but also your faces. I will carry your faces all around with me and I want you to look at this face, I don’t know when or how long but you will surely see this face again.”

Machel’s words lifted the spirits of the parents.

In his final remark, Yakubu expressed gratitude to her on behalf of all the parents. He also thanked the organisation for catering to their needs, saying the officials of the foundation visited them in Chibok.

He also appreciated the #BringBackOurGirlsMovement for its tireless campaign.

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7 Comments

  1. Giwanruwa
    Giwanruwa November 16, 16:05

    The war against Boko Haram and the repatriation of the Chibok girls will not be played out in the media. Neither will the army promise what it cannot deliver any more. The time is now for quiet diligence and persevering action. I feel for the parents though.

    The sad truth is that these children have been missing for over a year, it will be even more difficult to find them now. So, if they no longer hear from Aso Rock, and the army does not drop by as before, it probably is because neither have any new/good news; for now.

    At least, the government is not suppressing BBOG activists, neither are the families being accused of working for the opposition, as was the case before. Very soon, by God’s special grace, these children will be found and returned to their homes; amen.

    Reply to this comment
    • arinze
      arinze November 17, 09:51

      Stop this ur patronizing illusions. The questions is , Where are the girls?. The purpose of all the noise was to bring down the last govt. It has been accomplished and over. The chibok nonsense is a sham.

      Reply to this comment
      • Giwanruwa
        Giwanruwa November 17, 14:58

        Arinze, think for yourself, don’t let anyone throw rubbish down your throat! Do you really believe that the Boko Haram was used to bring down GEJ. Bros, if it was that easy, the militants in Niger Delta should have brought down OBJ.

        As for Chibok, all I can advise you is to pray that it does not happen to your own children. It is easy to criticise from a distance, but when we suffer the same fate, we very quickly change tune.

        Reply to this comment
      • Obi
        Obi November 17, 15:43

        Are you referring to Lanre Oyewole (up above) or Giwanruwa? Did you observe the fraud? Fraudulently one and the same person!

        Reply to this comment
    • Obi
      Obi November 17, 15:40

      @Lanre Oyewole/Giwanruwa,
      When I told people that there are thousands of people who operated thousands of multiple accounts I order the deceive the public, they didn’t believe it. Your case is a clear example. You are not even intelligent enough to prevented being busted like I just did.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Wise Head
    Wise Head November 17, 10:42

    They have served their purpose. They have been used and dumped. Even their once most enthusiastic champion, Oby Ezekwesili, has returned to her normal life. The other lady has been rewarded with govt appointment. They whole thing has achieved its purpose which was to sack Jonathan; the women should have known that. And now they are on their own

    Reply to this comment

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