Parents of the Chibok schoolgirls still in Boko Haram custody have cried out to the federal government for being ignored concerning the welfare of their daughters. The parents, in a letter signed by Mallun Nkeki, Yohanna Vanki and Mutah Ndirmbita, said the government is not showing any interest in briefing them about the fate of their children. In 2014, some girls were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state. The sect released 82 of the girls in May, following a prisoner-swap deal with the federal government. Five months later, 21 girls were also freed. However, the parents’ letter reads: “Mr President, we write to express our feelings to you at this time. While we appreciate you and your government for the negotiated release of our 21 girls, and another 82, we want to intimate you of our pains and disaffection, because it seems we are not being considered. “When the 21 girls were rescued, we begged to be part of the reunion, so we could hear about our daughters, but we were denied that opportunity. Again, when the 82 came home, we were so happy, knowing very well that we could meet them and hear about our daughters, even if dead, so we could bring this to closure, but we were denied the chance to meet them till today.
“If there is any time we are so much worried about our girls then it is now, when we don’t seem to hear anything again from any official, be it our local leaders, state officials, or the Federal Government officials; no one is saying anything to us.“We have travelled to ask our local leaders to hear from them, but no one seems interested in briefing us about any effort or action, by the Federal Government, to secure the release of our daughters; we feel neglected. When the government promised to secure the girls’ release soon, we thought it won’t be long after the 82 girls were rescued, having seen how possible that was. The parents, who revealed how traumatised they have been urged the government to quickly rescue the remaining girls. “Right now, we are hopeless and more traumatised than before because it seems the successes recorded is now considered as a closure since no one is paying any attention to our grief. “We call on Mr President and his team to please expedite action and rescue the remaining girls for us to have closure on the Chibok girls, while we pray our fighting forces to end terrorism in our land. “We demand that the government talk to us and tell us exactly why the delays. We want to know the state of our daughters and when are they coming home. We want the government to deal directly with parents of the missing girls, let us know what next. “Do not stop us from meeting the rescued girls, we could hear words of comfort from our daughters through them, and to know whether they are alive or not, for us to know the next step. We have lost 20 of the parents; we don’t want to lose any one of us in this situation again.” By Tony Nwanne