EXCLUSIVE (VIDEO): Governor Shettima berates soldiers for denying freed Chibok girls access to parents

shetima-with-chibok

The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, on Monday queried the decision of Nigerian soldiers and the officials of the State Security Service who prevented the 21 freed Chibok girls from mingling with their families.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the girls were prevented from meeting with or celebrating Christmas with their family despite arriving Chibok before the holidays.

A resident told PREMIUM TIMES that the heavily guided girls were instead isolated in the home of the member representing Chibok in the Borno State House of Assembly.

Apparently angered by the decision of the soldiers, Mr. Shettima gave his directive during a meeting with the girls in the presence of some soldiers in Chibok.

In a video exclusively obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the governor directed the security officials to henceforth allow the girls meet with their families.

“As much as possible, let them mingle with their parents. No soldier or security man should be around them, give them that privacy.

“They have been without their parents for over two years, they deserve some privacy. I don’t want any soldier or SSS hanging around them. Let them have a full time with their parents,” Mr. Shettima said.

Mr. Shettima’s directive was similar to that of the presidency on the actions of the soldiers.

Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, had admitted to journalists that there were hitches arising from a lack of understanding of the objective of the trip on the part of some security operatives.

He said following the receipt of the complaint against the soldiers, a directive was given from the headquarters for the access by the parents to be eased.

“If the situation persists, please let us know so that the higher authorities will make a further intercession,” Mr. Shehu said.

At his meeting with the girls, the governor  thanked the security personnel and presented each of the girls a Christmas gift before directing that the girls and their parents be moved to Maiduguri where he would host them and ensure they have quality time.

The 21 girls were freed in October after negotiations between the government and Boko Haram. Scores of girls, students of Chibok government secondary school kidnapped in 2014, still remain with the terrorists.


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  • Olori Magege

    soldiers around young traumatized girls? Are the girls trophies that the soldiers must protect? I hope they don’t impregnate them.

    • Mallam

      Nigerian security are not inresponsible people like you.

      • Olori Magege

        Mallam this is from Guardian editorial of 30-12-16 on rape in the IDP camp. Please read it. You can also access the editorial for you to be enlightened ……..”Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who brought this to public knowledge, revealed that those implicated in, and arrested for, the sex scandal included “two policemen, three army officers, one prison official; one Air Force officer, an employee of the Borno State Ministry of Agriculture and two members of the Civilian JTF.” If further investigations indict these suspects, they should be made to face the severest punishment such atrocious acts carry.”

  • Ade

    Jesus have mercy! Shettima was the main architect of the kidnapped girls yet the girls are praising him because is giving them some handout??

    • Mallam

      A bad manner, you abuse ones religion unjustly. Anyway it is a true reflection of who you are. Certainly you are not a Christian and hell fire is your destiny. True Christians love peace and don’t abuse others unjustly.

    • Mufu Ola

      Unreasonable comment you made. Totally senseless

  • Alfsanni

    For so many girls or people to be freely loaded up in a truck at night and freely taken away from a campus is showing that Nigeria is still a crawling baby in the field of local and national security. Security is only around the VIP’s. As Nigeria is doing well copying how to run a democratic government, they should also copy how to run a welfare caring society, security, agriculture, preservation of food and industrialization in the form of making good packaging for products, i.e not assisting women selling not to be rapping suyar food, groundnuts etc with old newspapers.

  • Stanley

    Soldiers are preventing parents from meeting their daughters? where is #bringbackourgirls? where is madam due process? looks like another hostage taking.

    • thusspokez

      And what would you write, if boko haram took them hostage?

  • thusspokez

    “As much as possible, let them mingle with their parents. No soldier or security man should be around them, give them that privacy.”

    Too many Nigerians often react to issues very emotionally instead of thinking things true. Hence, many Nigerians who read Mr. Shettima’s reaction would probably agree with him. But let’s examine what these girls had gone through; the adequacy of medical and psychological treatment they have been receiving in Abuja for two months.

    Indeed, any proper psychiatrists or trauma counsellor would tell you that mere two months of psychological trauma treatment for minors held in captivity, raped, starved, and tortured for over 900 days is WOEFULLY INADEQUATE let alone SUFFICIENT — which should be the minimum.

    Yet these mediocre Nigerian psychiatrists or trauma counsellors gave the girls the all-clear to return to Chibok and relive their worst nightmare. Arriving in Chibok will bring back flood of memories of their worst ordeals; they will be scared, and nervous, but weighed against the chance of meeting their parents, they will, no doubt, try to suppress their trepidation but not banish it from their minds. In the light of all these issues, the army and security agency have a big responsibility to closely guard the girls as they would protect the president.

    Imagine if boko haram were to launch a foolhardy attempt to kidnap the girls again. Even if it fails, such attempt will seriously undermine the Buhari’s government; and damage the already poor image of Nigeria around the world. Indeed, it will bring shame to Nigeria as a country. So Mr. Shettima, I suggest that you use your head and stop being too emotional!

    I am also wondering whether or not members of the girls trauma team had accompanied the girl to Chibok to continue providing them therapy. If not, then this is yet another example of the mediocrity that permeate all aspect of professions in Nigeria. These girls, after just two months of treatment — and after over 900 days in captivity — should NEVER have been given the all-clear to travel to Chibok and relive their worst nightmares. They can’t be ready to face Chibok.

    What should be uppermost in any rational person’s mind is the well-being and security of the girls — not even their families or Mr. Shettima photo opportunities. But it would seem that Mr. Shettima doesn’t care about the girls’ mental well-being. And like most Nigerians, he is incapable of thinking but instead rely on raw emotion, hence his failure to understand why these girls need the close protection given by the army.

    BTW Some of you readers — maybe due to your ignorance and even backwardness — may not understand what my comment above is about because it is not a way of doing things that you would be familiar with but trust me, it is the proper way things are done in other countries.