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Published On: Tue, Jul 29th, 2014

Jonathan’s ‘N100m largesse’ splits Chibok Community

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Jonathan with Chibok Missing Girls' ParentsBy Ochiaka Ugwu, with agency report

President Goodluck Jonathan’s alleged N100 million financial assistance to the parents of the abducted Chibok girls has raised dust within the Chibok community, where over 200 girls were recently abducted by the notorious Boko Haram sect.

The president is alleged to have given a N100 million cash aid to parents of the abducted Chibok girls after a meeting at the Presidential villa on July 22.

The president’s generosity has, however, sparked disagreement between some of the parents and leaders of the Chibok community in Abuja, the BBC Hausa service reported

According to the report, the presidency allegedly released the funds meant for the Chibok girl’s parents to the leaders of the Chibok community in Abuja. The funds are said to have been embezzled as some of the some of the school girls’ parents have alleged they were short-changed by the community leaders.

The report quoted one parent who participated in the recent meeting with Jonathan as revealing that she got only N200, 000 from the Chibok leaders as her share.

She spoke with BBC’s Abdu Halilu saying that “I got only N200, 000 out of the said N100million allegedly received by our leaders in Abuja. Some of us got N300, 000 and some less than that,” he said. He also said that he was not comfortable with the way the money was shared among the parents of the kidnapped girls and that he was short-changed.”

She similarly accused the Chibok leaders in Abuja of using the girls to enrich themselves.

She disclosed that most of those claiming to be Chibok leaders’ were actually mere residents of Abuja and not by any chance parents of the girls

She told BBC that “Some of the parents were screened out of the entourage by the Chibok leaders in Abuja.”

The report also cited another parent, who was screened out of the delegation that visited the president, who said he got only N7, 000 out of the money shared. “I was at the farm when they brought the N7, 000 to my house and I collected it. Some of us got even less, N300 and below,” he disclosed.

The report said the parents affirmed that they were not selling their daughters and that the money from the President was not upon their request but a self-motivated help from the president

“It just came to them without their asking for or expecting it.”

A member of the House of Representatives as well as a community leaders, Pobu Bitrus who equally attended the Chibok girls meeting with Jonathan told the BBC that monies were distributed to the parents in envelopes. “After we met with the presidency, the parents were given monies in envelopes and that’s all. All other things they are saying about N100 million, I don’t know about that,” Mr. Bitrus said.

On the night of 14–15 April 2014, 276 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of  Chibok in Borno state, Nigeria. The kidnappings were claimed by Boko Haram, an Islamic Jihadist and terrorist organization based in northeast Nigeria.

As of today, more than 200 students are still missing. Boko Haram has said that it wants to sell the girls.

The Nigerian government has been heavily criticised for failing to protect the population and end Boko Haram terrorist actions.

After a public outcry for Jonathan to meet with the abducted girls parents, the visit of celebrated Malala Yusoufai, the Pakistani teenager who champions the cause of girl child education paved way for an eventual meting recently.

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