The Federal Government and parents of some Chibok schoolgirls that escaped from Boko Haram terrorists have accused non-governmental organizations, NGOs, of using the girls to solicit for donations in the United States, U.S.
Some individuals and NGOs had offered to help the girls who escaped after the April 14, 2014 abduction in Chibok overcome their trauma. To this end, about 15 of them were given offers to travel to the United States, U.S, for their education.
But the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Aishatu Alhassan, who met with the parents in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, on Thursday, later told journalists that out of the 15 girls currently in the U.S, only five are in schools as promised, adding that most of the girls were used by the NGOs to get money from donors.
Disclosing this in the presence of some parents of the abducted girls, she revealed that the education of another five girls had to be taken over by the Murtala Mohammed Foundation after the intervention of the federal government.
Ahlhassan said, “We have heard reports that some of the Chibok schoolgirls that escaped abduction were taken to the U.S. by some persons under a private arrangement of which the government was not involved.
“We wanted to talk to the parents about these girls in the U.S. because every Nigerian is the business of the government. The welfare of every Nigerian is the responsibility of government whether in Nigeria or abroad.
“Therefore when we got the information that the girls were being used as tools for making money – not prostitution – but in the sense that they will be taken here and there where they go and relay their experiences during the insurgency, especially the invasion of Chibok town by Boko Haram and how they were abducted.
“After that, people used them to ask for donations; by so doing they make money out of it. So the girls became fed up; and started complaining that they were taken to the U.S. on an arrangement that they were going to send them to school and that they were going to pay for their school. But unfortunately they said they were not allowed to remain in school.
“The Nigerian government of course has business in the welfare of every Nigerian at home or overseas; so officials now went in and did some investigation and found that the case was true. So through the ministry of foreign affairs, my ministry was contacted; and there was a meeting held with the parents who we invited to discuss the matter.
“Now we had gotten a letter from one of the people that took the girls now making some demands pertaining to the girls and that necessitated my coming to meet with the children’s parents so that we talk now that I am in Maiduguri. We have discussed and understood each other and charted the way forward. And I am going back to report to Mr. President who encouraged me to meet with the ministry of foreign affairs and the parents.
“I have briefed them that the government is still doing its best to make sure that the ones in captivity are brought back home safe and sound. And they all appreciated our efforts and today they also dissociated themselves with any group including bring back our girls group that tries to use their name in order to insult the government or to undermine the authority of Mr. President.
“Most importantly, I conveyed Mr. President’s regards and how he feels for them as well as the concerns he has over the plight of their girls in captivity.”
Responding on behalf of the parents of the missing girls, Yakubu Nkeki Maiva, who identified himself as the chairman of the parents of abducted Chibok girls, said: “on the issue of our daughters that managed to escape from Boko Haram during the abduction who are now schooling in the US, we want the federal government to take over from those organizations and individuals, we want them to now study under the care of the federal government.
“When they were taken abroad, we were told that they were going there to study and not going on tourism. We want them to return home with certificates and not tourists’ experiences. We want government to come in and take over their education there,” he added.