By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development assured the parents of the Chibok girls, Miss Leah Sharibu and other abductees that the federal government had not forgotten them.
Farouq said this in a statement by her special media assistant Ms. Nneka Anibeze on Wednesday in Abuja to mark the 7th anniversary of the kidnapping of the Chibok girls.
“Let me assure the parents of the daughters of Chibok, Sharibu and other abductees, that this government has not forgotten them.
“We have heard your requests and the responsible ministries and agencies will respond on behalf of the government.
“All of our children deserve a quality formal education. Our country needs them to be educated for our development. No one should have to choose between school and safety.
“We will do our utmost to give every Nigerian child the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty and achieve their ambitions through education,” said Farouq.
The minister said that President Muhammadu Buhari came to power with a public mandate to control the insurgency in the northeast that led to the kidnapping of the Chibok girls and to fight corruption that has hampered efforts to rescue.
She explained that the federal government had accomplished a lot, adding that there was still important work to be done at all levels of government.
“Half of the girls in Chibok have been rescued and reunited with their families and have resumed their studies. We will continue to work to bring back those who remain.
“The readiness of local, state and federal governments to respond to attacks on schools has improved dramatically. We are working to prevent such attacks from happening in the first place, ”she said.
The minister said she would not like to speak openly about security strategies and measures.
“But I can assure you that President Buhari’s government considers the safety and security of Nigerians to be its sacred duty.
“We are fighting a regional wave of crime and violent extremism in partnership with others,” she said.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that as many as 300 government secondary school students in Chibok were abducted by Boko Haram operatives on April 14, 2014.
Eighty-two of the girls were reportedly released in May 2017.
One of the girls was rescued in January 2018. An additional unknown number of girls escaped in January 2021, but more than 112 are believed to remain in captivity. (NOPE)
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