In March this year, the chairman of Chibok LGA, Ba’ana Lawan, who in the presence of the distraught parents, elders of Chibok and youths addressed a news conference in Maiduguri, said though their travails had attracted global attention, their condition had continued to deteriorate.He said besides the unflinching support the Chibok community had received from the Borno State government, there was nothing from the federal government. He said only fake promises and deception kept coming to Chibok from federal authorities and cited the recent launch to rebuild the school from where the girls were taken as one of the “inglorious approaches” of the government.Lawan said from the date of the infamous abduction, the Boko Haram militants had severally attacked Chibok and its surrounding villages.“It is most unfortunate that the area (Chibok) has witnessed six different attacks by insurgents and about 300 people lost their lives with property worth millions of naira destroyed. Hundreds of houses razed down as well as food and cash crops were looted. The most recent attacks were those on Gatamwarwa, Kautikari and other surrounding villages where several lives were equally lost. Yet there was no response from the federal government”, he said.Daily Trust reports that like other towns and villages, Chibok has been cut off from Maiduguri after series of attacks by the Boko Haram made the military to close the Maiduguri-Damboa road.Initially, it takes less than two hours to get to Chibok from Maiduguri but today, it takes about 10 hours because instead of travelling a distance of about 80 kilometers to Damboa and then about 50 kilometers to Chibok, one has to cover a distance of nearly 500 kilometers, passing through Damaturu, Potiskum and many towns and villages in Gombe State, then Biu and Damboa in Borno State before getting to Chibok.Some parents of the girls, groups and individuals that were interviewed yesterday said the federal government had betrayed the constitution which stipulates that the essence of government is the protection of the people.One of the parents, Shettima Haruna, said they had waited for too long.“I always remember the attempt we made during the first week of the abduction to enter the Sambisa Forest but security men forced us to return…They promised that they would enter the forest themselves but they have never fulfilled that promise,” he said. Another parent, Amos Chiroma, said they were marking the first anniversary of the disappearance of their daughters with nostalgia.“Will the approach be the same if the girls were children of ministers, top military and police officers? Will it be the same if they were children of politicians? It is sad that we were forgotten because we are nobody and the disappearance of our daughters did not deny those in Abuja the opportunity to sleep,” he said.Professor Hauwa Biu, the coordinator of Women for Peace and Security Network, a coalition of various groups yesterday led her members to Chibok where they will mark the one year anniversary with parents of the girls.“We actually wanted to hold a press conference in Maiduguri but later resolved to take the risk and be in Chibok in order to give the parents of the innocent girls some hope,” she said.Professor Biu said she cannot think of the safety of the girls but would remain optimistic.“We don’t know whether they are alive or dead but we feel we have to keep on encouraging parents of the girls to remain prayerful,” she said.Spokesman of the Borno Elders Forum (BEF) Dr. Bulama Mali Gubio, said the federal government would never be forgiven for not taking a decisive action right from the onset.“The president was living in denial for many days about the whole abduction saga and did not give orders to act until when the international community condemned the lacklustre attitude.“But that notwithstanding, I am very hopeful that the girls will be found, some of them will definitely be found and we want the president elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, to save the girls so that Nigeria will be saved from this huge embarrassment,” he said.Chairman of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) Mallam Sadiq Maikaramba, also said he believed the girls were alive.“We only need frank approach to the rescue operation and the girls would be back,” he said.
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