Nigeria’s President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has reassured the people of Borno State and the nation in general that the security forces are doing everything possible to nip terrorism in the bud and as well ensure the safe return of the over 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram terrorists in Chibok.
It could be recalled that over 60 days, some insurgents invaded Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State and went away with about 275 schoolgirls writing WAEC exams.
While only few escaped, many are still under captivity.
The President, represented by minister of finance and the Coordinator of the economy, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala stated this on Wednesday when she led Mr. Robert, and Dale Mason, representatives of Former British Prime Minister and now United Nations Special Envoy on Global Education, Mr. Gordon Brown to inspect schools destroyed by insurgents in Maiduguri and other parts of the state, as part of the intervention programme ‘Safe School Initiatives’.
The Minister said following the kidnap of over 200 girls from Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, which has given Mr. President sleepless nights, the Federal Government in May last month during the 24th World Economic Forum-Africa (WEFA), which took place in Abuja, pledged to commit the sum of $10 million (N1.6 billion) towards the programme.
While commending Governor Kashim Shettima for his effort in rebuilding and renovating some of the destroyed schools, Okonjo Iweala said the federal government under President Jonathan was committed to the restoration of qualitative and secured education system in the country, and called on all communities, and stakeholders in the education sector to give their maximum support to the programme so that public schools which were closed down particularly in Borno, Yobe and other states in the North-East would remain open and safe for both students and staff.
Speaking to Journalists in Maiduguri, one of the representatives of Mr Brown, Robert Quik said he had come to show the commitment of the international community to support the efforts to rescue the Chibok girls and to make schools safe for them when they return.
He added that schools affected by terrorist activities in the North-East, especially Borno and Yobe states would be rebuilt, saying that the programme implementation would be extended to all parts of the country to give every parent the confidence to send their children to school, knowing that it would be safe.
Responding, Governor Kashim Shettima thanked the federal government, the Minister of Finance and the representatives of Mr. Brown for taking their time to visit the troubled Borno, particularly the schools directly affected by the insurgency, and promised to partner with the federal government and United Nations Special Envoy on Global Education, which is aimed at improving the education sector.
He added that the state government would commit its resources to support the programme, considering its immense benefits to schools which had remained closed in the state.