7 years after, FG yet to fulfill its pledge to Chibok community ― Senator Ndume
• Says parents of victims isolated
Senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume has decried the neglect of the Chibok Community by the Federal Government.
Nigerian Tribune checks revealed that between 14 and 15, April 2014, 276 students were abducted from Government Secondary School in Chibok, a community in Borno State by the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
Further checks revealed that 57 of the students escaped the same months while several were rescued following military operations leaving 112 of them unaccounted for.
Speaking with journalists on Friday in Abuja, Senator Ndume who incidentally is the Chairman Senate Committee on Army, accused the federal government of abandoning the school and the Chibok Community, seven years after the unfortunate incident.
Senator Ndume expressed concern over the lack of infrastructures in the Community, particularly roads which he noted has made the battle against the insurgents difficult for the military since the roads are not accessible.
He said, “The Federal government, up till now, seven years after the school was destroyed, that school has not been rebuilt after the Federal Government took over and the Safe School Initiative where money was set aside – big money – nobody is talking about that.
The Federal government has not fulfilled its promise. “In fact, the State government is now struggling to take back the school from the Federal Government in order to rebuild it. And then there is a critical nerve road that facilitated the running away of these girls – the 40 kilometres long road between Chibok and Damboa. It has been in the Federal Government’s budget since I came to the National Assembly, For 18 years now, the federal government could not finish it and that road is critical access because if there is no accessibility, the military or the security agencies cannot be effective.
“So, these are the things we are calling on the Federal government to look into as a matter of urgency or national importance because the issue of Chibok girls and the issue of Chibok itself and the parents of the girls sticks in the mind of not only Nigerians but the international community. The earlier the Federal Government does something in terms of providing more information as to the efforts that they are making, the better for all of us.
“We thank God there’s the presence of a Taskforce Brigade in Chibok but the other areas that the insurgents are because they are in the border of Sambisa, the other areas like Kautikari-Pemi that you hear of incessant attacks there are no soldiers there. And what is responsible for this is because, as I have been saying, we don’t have enough soldiers on the ground. What happened in Damasak now is not because of anything but because the soldiers there are not enough.”
Senator Ndume further called on the federal government to give psychological succour to the parents of the abducted students who were yet to be rescued by keeping them abreast of efforts by the military to rescue the remaining abducted students.
“It is seven years since the Chibok girls were abducted. Up till today, 112 of them are not accounted for. We hear stories but I am glad that the government issued a statement that they have not forgotten and that they are following the case.
But I want to call on the government to be giving the parents and the public update either on a monthly or quarterly basis on the effort that they are making so that we will know what is going on.
“The government should identify the parents of the remaining 112 missing girls so that through the state government or whatever channel the government can be in touch with them and also assist them psychologically.”
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