Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, the lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial District, has called on the Federal Government to set up a public information-sharing initiative to update Nigerians on the ongoing effort to rescue the remaining 112 Chibok girls in Boko Haram captivity.
Ndume made the call on Friday in Abuja while speaking on the seventh anniversary of the incident, which was marked on Wednesday.
According to him, the Federal Government has been silent and not provided public detail on its effort in securing the release of the other girls.
He said: “It is seven years since the Chibok girls were abducted. Up till today, 112 of them are not accounted for. We hear stories but I am glad that the government issued a statement that they have not forgotten and that they are following the case.
“But I want to call on the government to be giving the parents and the public update either on monthly or quarterly basis on the effort that they are making so that we will know what is going on,” the lawmaker said.
Ndume also called on the Federal Government to allow the destroyed Chibok school, where the girls were kidnapped, to be rebuilt by the Borno state government and as well deliver other necessary infrastructure in the area.
“Also, the Federal Government, up till now, seven years after the school was destroyed, that school has not been rebuilt after the Federal Government took over and the Safe School Initiative where money was set aside – big money – nobody is talking about that. The Federal Government has not fulfilled its promise.
“In fact, the state government is now struggling to take back the school from the Federal Government in order to rebuild it. And then, there is a critical road that facilitated the running away of these (Chibok) girls – the 40-kilometre-long road between Chibok and Damboa. It has been in the Federal Government’s budget since I came to the National Assembly 18 years now, the Federal Government could not finish it and that road is a critical access because if there is no accessibility, the military or the security agencies cannot be effective.
“So, these are the things we are calling on the Federal Government to look into as a matter of urgency or national importance because the issue of Chibok girls and the issue of Chibok itself and the parents of the girls stick in the mind of not only Nigerians but the international community. The earlier the Federal Government does something in terms of providing more information as to the efforts that they are making, the better for all of us,” Ndume added.
On April 14, 2014, members of the jihadist group Boko Haram ambushed an all-girls boarding school in Chibok in the middle of the night and kidnapped 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.