We’re being targetted for ‘annihilation’, Chibok residents say

Rescued Chibok girls reunite with parents
Rescued Chibok girls reunite with parents

Members of the Chibok community, in war-ravaged Borno State, on Monday, said they were being targeted for ‘annihilation’ by the Boko Haram.

The community, which shot to global limelight when over 276 school girls were abducted from their dormitories in 2014 said the government has failed to fulfil “a promise made to them in January 2016.”

In a press statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, they also said at least 20 parents of the abducted school girls have died from trauma and violence since the tragedy.

The group said President Muhammadu Buhari promised to set up a panel that will “further investigate the abduction of the Chibok girls but has not done so”.

PREMIUM TIMES reached out to the two spokespersons to the President, via text and phone calls. They are yet to respond to the enquiries on the claims.

Chibok community in Borno State, North-east Nigeria, on April 15, 2014 witnessed the abduction of the schoolgirls from its Government Secondary School.

Of the abducted schoolgirls, 164 have returned while 112 remain captives.

Grouse

The group (Kibaku area development association) said it met with the presidency on January 14, 2016. That was their second and last meeting with the president, during which he promised to “constitute a presidential panel of inquiry,” the group said

The president of the group, Dauda Iliya, who signed the release, said Mr Buhari’s promise “is yet to be constituted four years later.”

He also said that “they have no knowledge on their daughters’ whereabouts or information from the federal government on when they will be rescued and brought home or if there is any ongoing effort at all.”

The Buhari administration has continually announced that the terrorist group has been “technically defeated” but contrary to that report, the community says they have been attacked several times by insurgents.

“On Christmas eve last year, Kwarangilum (nearby community) was attacked by Boko Haram which led to the kidnap of five persons, burning down of houses, and carting away of herds of live cattle, sheep, goats, and chickens.

“Five days later on the 29th of December in Mandaragrau, 17 Chibok indigenes were kidnapped. Such has been the reports coming in from that community in five weeks since the 24th of December 2019,” the group said.

Attacks, abandonment

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“The Kibaku Area Development Association (KADA) wishes to cry out and put it on the record that we are being targeted for attacks and annihilation, whether at home or wherever we are. Our people and homelands are in danger. Our homes, farms, barns, and places of worship are destroyed. We are unable to exercise our religious freedoms as we prefer. Our very existence is under grave threat,” it added.

It also said, “We also do NOT notice much effort by the government to permanently end the scourge of Boko Haram terrorism, and restore peace in our homelands in particular, and the North-east in general; nor the return of our 112 daughters held in captivity for close to 6 years.

“Despite global efforts to renovate, rehabilitate and reopen their school, Government Secondary School, Chibok (with the intention of defeating the terrorists’ objective) through the Safe Schools Initiative which was initiated by the then UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Mr Gordon Brown, in May 2014, following the attack, it has been abandoned and remains closed as an abandoned project, to this day.”

Deceased Chibok parents

The group also added that “of 20 Chibok girls’ parents – our kinsmen and women – who are now deceased, 11 were killed during the Boko Haram attacks, eight died of heart conditions as a result of trauma, with those alive subsisting with various degrees of heart conditions and trauma along with their resultant effects.”

Manasseh Allen, the ‘media director’ of the group said they have reached out to the presidency on several occasions “and have been ignored.”



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