Over five years after the abduction of 219 schoolgirls and the burning of the school, the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, is still under lock and key as pupils now receive lessons at a primary school nearby.
Boko Haram insurgents had on April 14, 2014 stormed the school dormitory and forcefully abducted over 200 girls, but 57 of the girls escaped and found their way back home. The Federal Government subsequently negotiated with the abductors and freed over 100 girls, leaving 112 others in captivity for the past 1,998 days.
A member of the Kibaku Area Development Association in Abuja, Dr. Manasseh Allen, on Wednesday, October 2nd bemoaned the failure of the Federal Government to rescue the remaining 112 girls in Boko Haram captivity, almost 2,000 days after the insurgents stormed their dormitories and forcefully took them away.
Allen noted that the government had not offered any form of succour to the parents of the missing girls or the community as a whole. He also alleged that over 21 Chibok parents had died as a result of trauma.
He said, “Aside the presence of a military brigade in Chibok, which has been doing its best to protect the people, the government has not done anything either directly for the parents or the people. The school has neither been completed nor put into operation. It is part of the primary school that the pupils are now using. They go there in the afternoon after the primary school pupils had closed.
“If the government was serious about changing the lives of the people, the school would have been completed as a way of countering extremism. The Federal Government should have been able to build the school to international standard, furnish it in such a way as to send a strong signal to the terrorists that they cannot cow us.”
Allen said the government could not negotiate the release of the remaining 112 girls, stressing that the release of the first batch of 100 girls was achieved through negotiation by the Department of State Services. He added, “None of the girls was rescued through military operations. We know that even if not all, most of them are still alive. If the government is serious about securing their release, it can get them alive.
“We still believe that most of the girls are alive and they want to come home. Those that were married by the insurgents are running away from the bush and coming back to civilisation. We are confident that those that were forcefully taken away will look for a way to return to their loved ones.”
The Chibok indigene said many people had fled their communities in the Chibok Local Government Areas, following the spate of attacks by the insurgents. “I have lost count of the attacks, but they (Boko Haram) have attacked Gatamarwa more than five times, Flemagalama more than five times, and other communities. The attacks are so many that we don’t bother counting. As a result of this, many people have abandoned their farmlands and this has affected food production in the area,” Allen said.