It was a tearful scene yesterday in Dapchi, the Yobe State community where Boko Haram snatched away 110 girls on February 19.
President Muhammadu Buhari visited the Government Girls Science and Technical College where the girls were abducted.
Some of the distraught parents and the girls’ school mates broke down in tears when the Chairman of the Parents, Bashir Alhaji Monzo, spoke on the incident.
The President and his entourage arrived at the school hall around 3.54 p.m
Earlier in Damaturu, the state capital, the President had told stakeholders that “there will be no rest until the last girl, whether from Chibok or Dapchi, is released.
“The girls and all our students must enjoy unhindered freedom and pursue their legitimate aspirations. The Dapchi and Chibok students are our girls and must enjoy our protection. They must live to achieve their individual ambition to be great women of tomorrow. It is our duty to protect them and we are determined to restore peace to all parts of the country from the west to the east, north to the south.”
The President, who described the abduction as “careless”, stressed: ”It is my hope that any agency, person or group found to have been negligent or culpable in the abduction of the girls will be punished according to the law”.
The parents were weeping as reporters interviewed them, hours before the President’s arrival.
Addressing the parents in Hausa, President Buhari promised that no effort will be spared towards bringing their children back alive.
He also vowed that Boko Haram terrorists woud not be spared for their evil activities.
Said the President: “I have read the full report of what happened in Damaturu. As we received the information and what the Federal Government is doing under my leadership since beginning of the problem to date, may God console you.
“I am informing you that it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that this country is living in peace.”
He recalled that during the campaigns, the government promised to achieve three objectives – ensuring security, revamping the economy and fighting corruption.
According to him, his administration has succeeded in all.
Buhari said: “Those Boko Haram members were in control of many parts of Borno State and some local governments in Yobe State. But, at the moment, they have only resorted to bombing mosques and churches, and kidnapping young girls.
“Boko Haram has also brainwashed some of the girls and made them to kill themselves with suicide bombs. By the will of God, we have directed police, DSS, Soldiers and other security agencies to find modalities by which your children will be returned to you in peace.”
“But this their action and the one they did in 2014 before we assumed office, we will not spare them. So, because of that, the Federal Government will use all its powers to see the end of insurgency and bring peace into the country. May God console you,” he told the disturbed parents.
Yobe State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam acknowledged that the Federal Government had lived up to its responsibility over the incident.
According to him, the President had sent delegations to the state over the matter.
“It is my hope that the findings of the committees will be implemented and the abducted girls rescued alive,” he said.
The school’s principal, Hajiya Adama Abdulkarim, urged the parents not to be discouraged by the incident.
The parents carried placards. Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: “Rescue our abducted DAPCHI school girls now”; “Any delay is dangerous. We want genuine action. Rescue our daughters now.”
Another reads “Welcome Mr. President; we are parents of the abducted Dapchi school girls. Please rescue our daughters, we love them, they are our hope for a brighter future.”
With the President were Ministers Lai Mohammed (Information), Abdulrahman Danbazzau (Interior); Adamu Adamu (Education), Solomon Dalung (Sports), and Mansur Dan-Ali (Defence) and Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim.
One of the mothers of the abducted girls, Hafisatu Mohammed, who spoke in Hausa, said: “We are in a terrible situation; some parents have died due to the loss of their children. Some of them are very sick.
“We know that this tragic situation was ordained by God. We accept it in good faith. We accept this as a trial from God. We know that Almighty God will help us fight our battle. Our God will expose them. He will bring us out of this predicament.
“We are begging our President, Baba Buhari, that he should do all ‘the needful’ in good time and rescue our children from this oppressors.”
Another mother, Aisha Bukar, also speaking in Hausa, and crying, said: “The sister to one of my daughters, who was abducted in the school, is very sick at home due to the abduction of her sister.
“We pray that God will bring peace back to Nigeria. We have never experienced such a terrible situation in our lives. Although there is relative peace since Buhari became President and we are still thanking him for what he is doing and may God continue to protect him.
“We want him to redouble efforts to save our children from this wicked people. My daughter that was kidnapped was not able to walk for seven years. We brought her to school after she was cured and now they have kidnapped her. Because of this incident, I became sick and was admitted at the hospital.”
One of the fathers of the abducted girls, Alhaji Deri Kade, said: “So many things have happened; we have seen the worst. My only wish is to see Mr. President and welcome him and express my feelings to him, so that we discuss the way forward to rescue our children.
“We are sure that Mr. President is very concerned about rescuing our children and that is why he is here in Dapchi, and our prayers will lead to that success,” he added.
credit: the nation
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