Ambode pledges support for President Buhari’s efforts to rescue Chibok girls
Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Thursday said his administration had identified with the promise of President Mohammadu Buhari to ensure the safe return of the missing Chibok girls.
Ambode made the assertion when “Bring Back Our Girls Campaign Movement’’ visited him at Ikeja to commemorate the 500 days of the abduction of 217 Chibok girls in Borno State.
“’We appreciate your persistency and consistency to this noble course which has kept hope alive in the last 500 days.
“’We are more disturbed about the reaction of the past administration, which was inadequate and globally condemned.
“I want to state categorically that my administration truly identifies with the position expressed by President Buhari as he has vowed to bring back the girls alive.
“We pray that God will grant our prayers and make their safe return a reality as well as grant their parents the strength to carry on,’’ he said.
Ambode promised to be committed to the upkeep and welfare of the internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state and ensure that they were comfortable.
Earlier, Mrs Aisha Oyebode, the Coordinator of the Lagos chapter of the movement, decried the slow pace of government’s efforts in the rescue operation of the missing girls.
Oyebode, who was represented by Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Executive Director of Women Advocates’ Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) said there was need for the girls’ rescue.
She said the movement had engaged many relevant agencies, stakeholders, state governors and even President Buhari, but all to no avail as the girls had yet to be rescued.
According to her, the movement is demanding that the Nigerian government fulfils its constitutional role of ensuring that the welfare of Nigerians is prioritised.
“This abduction has affected education in the North-East, especially the education of the girl-child. Government needs to do something to avoid the long term effect of these problems.
“The Chibok girls are not the only victims of insurgency, there are many men and women being kidnapped in the North-East on daily basis.
“This insurgency has also displaced over two million Nigerians and some of them are in Lagos State,’’ she said.
“We call on the Lagos State Government to support the demands to ensure that its relevant agencies fulfil its legal role of safe guarding the welfare of IDPs.
“We urge Gov. Ambode to ensure that the immediate needs of the IDPs in Kirikiri, Ibeju-Lekki and Magodo are met, especially the right to education and healthcare as applicable to other residents.
“Also, we urge you to commission a security review of all public schools in the state to ensure the safety of school children,’’ Oyebode said.
She appeal to Ambode to relay their demands to other state governors at their next Governors’ Forum to aid collective fight against insurgency, boost rescue operation of the Chibok girls and ensure the welfare of IDPs.
In her remarks, Mrs Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, urged Ambode to utilise his position to support the movement.
“You have shown so much commitment and action to the welfare of the people in your short stay in office.’’
Moses Zakwa, Chairman, Chibok Community in Lagos, said that there were no functional schools in Chibok presently and that all the young indigenes had fled the community abandoning the aged.
“We are so concerned because the abduction of these girls had turned our community to a desert.
“We appreciate Lagos State for accommodating some of our displaced people and we beg Gov. Ambode to help in finding a lasting solution to the problems of the Chibok people,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the female students were kidnapped from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno, on the night of April 15, 2014.
The Boko Haram sect claimed responsibility for the kidnap of the girls
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