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Borno Gov’t Pledges To Rescue Remaining Chibok School Girls

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Parents of the remaining Chibok School Girls still in the hands of the Boko Haram terrorists have been assured of the Borno State Government's commitment to bring the abductees home, ten years after their abduction.

Borno State Commissioner for Information and Internal Security, Prof Usman Tar gave the assurance on Saturday, stating that government will not rest on its oars until the last of its innocent girls are back home with their families.

Prof Tar gave the assurance at a press briefing on the abduction and rescue of Chibok girls, the management and resettlement of IDPs and matters arising.

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The briefing held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre, Maiduguri also touched on the Borno Restoration Project; and the Borno Peace, Reconciliation and Development Programme (Borno Model).

The Commissioner who recalled that the Boko Haram insurgents criminally abducted 276 innocent girls at their hostels at Government Girls Secondary School Chibok 10 years ago, said the painful date is engrained in the peoples collective memory.

“We shall not rest on our oars until the last of our innocent girls are back home with their families. On this auspicious occasion of the 10th anniversary of the abduction of Chibok Girls, the Borno State Government identifies and sympathises with all those who are affected by the abduction.

“The Government wishes to inform the public that we shall continue to struggle to salvage our abducted girls on behalf of the parents and relatives of the Chibok girls who are still in captivity.

“The Borno State Government is committed to rescuing and reuniting the remaining Chibok girls and reuniting them with their families. We understand the pain and anguish that the families of those still in captivity are going through, this is our sorrow!

“We also wish to use this occasion to take stock of the rescued girls and provide an update on how the girls are coming to terms with adjusting to normal life after captivity, and efforts of the Borno State Government to sustain the momentum on the rescue of the remaining girls,” Prof Tar said.

He noted that so far, 187 out of the 276 abducted Chibok Girls have been rescued and reunited with their families, while adding that most of the rescued girls have, over the years, been enrolled in different schools or graduated under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.

“A number of the girls have been enrolled into local and foreign scholarships or empowerment programmes. Many have since been reunited with their immediate families and are continuing to receive psycho-social support to reconcile them with normal life.”

Furthermore, the Commissioner stressed that 16 recently rescued girls are being rehabilitated by the state government and attending the 2nd Chance School where they learn skills in various vocations that will provide them with sustainable livelihoods, while their kids are also placed in nursery schools.

He also added that four rescued girls have voluntarily decided to return to their parents.

“We remain hopeful and determined that, with the combined efforts of our security forces, intelligence agencies, and community support, all abducted persons will be safely returned,” Tar said.

He assured that the Borno State Government will not rest until every missing person is found and returned home safely.

On the return of IDPs to their ancestral homes, the Commissioner said the Borno State Government is fully committed to the return of all IDPs either those in formal or informal camps back to their ancestral homes.

He said so far, over 90% of active IDPs Camps have been decommissioned and the displaced persons resettled, while pledging that the balance shall be resettled within 2024.

Prof Tar added that the dismantling of each IDPs Camp and resettling of the displaced persons is normally preceded by the restoration of security, clearance of farmlands initially within a 5 kilometer radius and restoration of vital infrastructure especially schools, water systems, electricity and mobility.

He commended the agencies of the federal government, especially the armed forces and security agencies, for their unflinching support in resettling the IDPs.

In addition to the domestic IDPs, he added that the state is also dealing with the issue of Nigerian refugees seeking asylum in Niger, Chad and Cameroun.

He expressed the appreciation of the state government to the neighbouring countries and neighbourly kith and kindred for their magnanimity and hospitality in accommodating Nigerian citizens in their territories.

“Recently, the Executive Governor of Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Umara Zulum had sought an audience with the President, Bola Tinubu, on the issue of relocation of Nigerian refugees to their ancestral homes within Nigeria.

“The President has pledged to support this process, and provide the federal might that is needed to ensure a seamless return of our people back home after a decade of stay as refugees,” Prof Tar further said.


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