Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno State, has said the abducted secondary school girls from Chibok town in the state will return safely.
He said this in a statement on Wednesday in commemoration of the seventh year of the girls’ abduction from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, by the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
According to him, as a father, he is aware of the kind of pains the parents of the abducted girls are going through, even after seven years of their daughters being held in captivity by the terrorists.
He called for prayers for the girls and for peace to be fully and permanently restored in Borno.
He said: “As a father of daughters, I can’t even imagine the pains of having one’s daughter held by terrorists for as long as seven whole years.
“However, I urge parents, especially anyone with a female child to pause for while, no matter how brief, to imagine how it might feel to have one’s daughter abducted and held for more than 2,549 days so far. Imagine how parents and relations of these girls have been feeling in each of these days.
“Certainly, the mental torture of not knowing the fate of one’s daughter in the hands of Boko Haram is far worse than losing a child.
“No parent can ever lose hope in a missing child, and having that hope comes with so much pains of anxiety and depression.
“Parents of Chibok schoolgirls have been devastated yet they have demonstrated faith and strength in the hope of reconnecting with our missing daughters. They deserve our continued empathy, our compassion, our support and most importantly, sharing their optimism.
“As a father of all sons and daughters of Borno, I haven’t lost hope that our remaining Chibok schoolgirls and other abducted persons, will be safely recovered.”
While the parents and relatives of the abducted girls continue to wake up every morning with the hope of their return, President Muhammadu Buhari, according to Governor Zulum, is also concerned about their captivity just as the parents are.
He said the president remains committed to making sure that the girls are freed.
“From my series of interactions with the President, Commander in Chief, Muhammadu Buhari, I have seen in him, that he is as concerned as the parents of the Chibok and all of us.
“Countless times, the President has shown me that he is not losing hope on the Chibok girls. He says to me although a number of our girls were reunited with their parents and being catered for, by the Federal Government, he is not happy until the remaining girls are freed.
“I believe the President and I urge everyone in Borno to sustain prayers for those girls and everyone in abduction to be safely freed, and for peace to be fully and permanently restored in Borno.
“I pray that Allah in His infinite mercy answers our prayers and grant us the peace we have been so desperate to gain in almost 12 years now.
“While we pray, our prayers are being combined with relentless support for security agencies and funding thousands of our recruited volunteers, as we all remain determined in our shared goal to free Borno and all its people,” he stated.
On April 14 2014, members of the jihadist group, Boko Haram, ambushed the all-girls boarding school in Chibok in the middle of the night and kidnapped about 276 students before vanishing into the forest.
Some of the girls managed to escape on their own, while others were later rescued or freed following negotiations.