President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday met with about 51 secondary school girls that escaped from terrorists, their parents, some parents of girls still in captivity and community and opinion leaders from Chibok, Borno State, with a promise to ensure the girls’ education do not suffer.
Over 200 girls were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, on April 14.
Jonathan, who met these people behind closed doors at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja, also promised to rescue the abducted girls still in captivity alive.
Besides government officials barring journalists from covering the over two hours-thirty minutes meeting, the Chibok girls and their parents were shielded from journalists throughout their stay at the Villa.
Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said, “Mr. President met with the parents of the abducted girls, community and opinion leaders of Chibok. The parents include those of girls that escaped and those of the girls who are still in captivity, the girls who managed to escape were also here.
“It was an interactive session during which the President had the opportunity to listen first hand to the various categories of persons. It was a very successful event and a good development because Mr. President had always been looking forward to this opportunity. Before now he had met with various stakeholders on the matter but today he heard directly from the persons involved.
“Statements were made by all the representatives of people. They spoke their minds and conveyed their feelings to the President. The girls who escaped also gave an account of what they went through. Mr. President reassured them of the federal government’s determination and his own personal determination to ensure that the girls that are still in captivity are brought out alive.
“That is the main objective of the government. Mr. President also used the opportunity to empathise with the parents and the girls and to reassure them that everything will be done to make things easier for them, especially those who have escaped and the ones that will also be rescued, that their education will not in any way suffer and he is convinced that evil will never prevail over good.”
He went on: “Mr. President further assured that after the battle has been won and the girls are brought back home, he, together with the parents and the state government will focus on development, on building Chibok, on building all that the terrorists had destroyed and on ensuring that every child, either in Chibok or in any other part of the country, has his/her dream realized.”