The Nigerian town of Chibok, which became world-famous nearly a year ago as Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls during a physics exam, has condemned the federal government’s attempt to rebuild the doomed school as little consolation in light of the government’s failure to locate and rescue the abducted girls.
The Nigerian government announced plans this year to reconstruct the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno, where the terrorist group Boko Haram abducted over 200 girls in April 2014. Most of the girls are still missing, and the few that have returned to their families escaped shortly after the abduction, amid the chaos of the terrorists trying to transport them all away from potential police disruption. Nigeria’s Vanguard estimates that 219 girls remain missing. The school taught about 1,000 students before the incident.
The head of the town, Caretaker Chairman of Chibok Council Area Mallam Ba’ana Lawan, hosted a press conference this week in which he condemned the construction of a new school, arguing that the federal government should be using all available resources to return the girls to their rightful homes.
“It is disheartening to inform you that since the abduction of these girls, the Federal Government did not bother to send delegations to Chibok to sympathize with the parents,” he said. “Instead, the parents were invited to Abuja and conveyed in cargo military plane with no comfort whatsoever. We still observed that recently, President Goodluck Jonathan visited Mubi and Baga, but failed to visit Chibok to sympathize with our people.”
“We therefore condemn the move by the Federal Government to embark on the reconstruction of the school (GGSS Chibok) instead of bringing back our girls as severally promised,” Lawan concluded.
Nigeria’s This Day adds that the Chibok municipal leader noted also that attacks persisted in villages near Chibok, and that the northeastern region of the nation remained vulnerable to attacks from the jihadist group.
“The most recent attacks were that of Gatamwarwa, Kautikari and other surrounding villages where several lives were lost. Yet, there was no response from the federal government,” he asserted.
Boko Haram has continued to ravage northeastern Nigeria, even as a coalition of nations neighboring Nigeria — including Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Benin — have agreed to send military aid to combat the threat. Over the weekend, over 50 people were killed by suicide attacks believed to be attributable to Boko Haram. The international community has turned increased attention to Boko Haram in light of their multiple overtures to the world’s wealthiest Muslim terrorist group, the Islamic State, including an audio recording alleged to be of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau pledging allegiance to ISIS.