‘20 Chibok schoolgirls’ parents died of heartbreak’

No fewer than 20 parents of the abducted Chibok students have died as a result of trauma while many others are now living with terminal ailments, the Chibok community in Abuja has said.

The Director of Media and Communication of the Kibaku Area Development Association, Dr Allen Manasseh, said many of the parents of the missing schoolgirls were also heartbroken.

This, he said, followed the failure of the Federal Government to rescue the remaining 112 Chibok schoolgirls from the clutches of Boko Haram, seven years after they were abducted from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno State on April 14, 2014.

About 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped but while 57 later escaped, 105 were brought back through negotiations, while 112 Chibok girls remained in captivity.

Speaking in Abuja on Wednesday at an event to mark the seventh anniversary of the abduction which attracted global outrage, Manasseh observed that no one could imagine the trauma and pain the girls were passing through in the hands of terrorists who subjected them to abuses, rape, forced marriages, forced labour and other degradations.

He stated, “Their parents are heartbroken; over 20 have since died. Many are sick, waiting for answers from our government. We reminded President Muhammadu Buhari of his statement at his inauguration in 2015 that ‘we cannot claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents’.

“But the actions, or rather, the inactions of the Federal Government over our daughters, while repeatedly claiming that the terrorists have been defeated while our girls remain in bondage, is a painful reminder that this administration does not value the lives of our precious girls who have been abandoned by the government that is supposed to protect them.”

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