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Published On: Thu, Jun 5th, 2014

#BringBackOurGirls campaigners slam Shettima over escapees’ welfare

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By Stanley Onyekwere

The #BringBackOurGirls campaign team, otherwise known as Abuja Family, yesterday slammed Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state, for allegedly not having a distinctive package for the rehabilitation and reintegration of the 57 escaped Chibok girls.

The group, which made this known at the resumption of sit-out meeting at the Unity Fountain, in Abuja, questioned the governor’s decision to assigned an inter-faith, and civil society group, with the mandate to search and chose schools for the 57 Chibok schoolgirls who returned home.

The campaigners argued that rather than focusing on the education of the escapees, the state government should have prioritized the reintegration and rehabilitation of the girls after conducting medical and psychological examination on the girls, given the trauma they had gone through while they were away.

However, it would be recalled that Gov Shettima had, on Tuesday, given approval to a Kaduna-based ‘Inter-Faith Mediation Centre and civil society group, to commence counseling of the 57 freed Chibok girls, and look for schools for them in Abuja, or other areas.

Also, Shettima noted that the state government has earmarked N100 million for the education of the Chibok schoolgirls, saying that, “we are willing to do everything within our reach to give them (a quality education,) including those still held captive.

Apparently not satisfied with the governor assigning the Center with the responsibility of choosing schools for the girls, after which, it would identify the capacities to make an informed decision appropriately to the future of the girls, the campaigners said the state government is not playing its role very well, adding that it’s going to register its displeasure through writing to the governor.

A leading member of the group, Oby Ezekwesili, said “normally there should be a reintegration and rehabilitation programme for these girls, but that there is a missing piece in the current arrangement; and that needs to be taken care of. And we must be the voice that will insist on it”.

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