The town of Chibok in Borno changed on this day, six years ago. That change was not expected and it was not met with cheers from the residents of the town, especially not by the students of the Government Girls School (GGSC) in Chibok.
Reports coming out of Chibok that day had it that 276 female students from their secondary school had been kidnapped by the Islamist extremist terrorist organization based in north-eastern part of Nigeria, Boko Haram. This sparked one of the biggest social media campaigns using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls and gathered a lot of support from the international community.
It has been six years and over one hundred of those girls are still unaccounted for, with some escaping from their captors, some rescued by the efforts of the Nigerian Army, and some released due to negotiations with the Nigerian government. Stories of abuse and suffering by the girls have been heard, with some being married off and those who still remain in the camps of their abductors have now been there for six years of their teenage/adult life.
On Tuesday the 14th of April, the Governor of Borno state, Professor Babagana Umaru Zulum sent delegates to the parents of the abducted chibok girls to send a message of empathy, hope and assurance, while also presenting social support to the parents of these girls in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of 500 bags of rice (25kg), 250 gallons of cooking oil and N5.6m cash.
Among the delegates was the state’s commissioner for education, Bello Ayuba, Commissioner of Women Affairs, Zuwaira Gambo, and that of Poverty Alleviation, Nuhu Clark, who hails from Chibok, they took turns to support and encourage the parents.
Ayuba said, “Governor Zulum has asked us to inform you that in all his meetings with President Buhari, the President has consistently shown concern and commitment to the rescue of the missing girls.
“The President and the Governor are fathers, with daughters. They know how you feel and they share your pains. They will never give up on the rescue of our daughters. No sane parent will give up on a missing child. They are committed and by the grace of God, these girls will be rescued alive.
“The Governor sends his empathy, and as you all have seen in his activities and visits to Chibok, the Governor holds Chibok very dear to his heart. Let us remain hopeful and prayerful, while our leaders sustain their concerted efforts.”