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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Abandoned Chibok girl found

A girl believed to be one of the 219 Chibok schoolgirls in Boko Haram’s custody for more than 160 days has been found abandoned.

She was picked up at Kwarihi village near Biu in Borno State after being thrown out of a moving Volkswagen Golf car.

She wandered in the bush for two days before she was rescued by villagers.

The Chairman of the Chibok community in Abuja, Hosea Tsambido, recounted this story yesterday.

He spoke at the gathering of the #BringBackOurGirls campaigners on a day Borno State Government announced a scholarship of N1.4million each for 36 girls – among the 57 who escaped on April 15 from abductors.

According to Tsambido, the abandoned girl, who gave her name as Susanna Ishaya, appeared mentally unstable.

He said she had been handed over to one of the Chibok parents who took her to the hospital after which she would be properly questioned.
Tsambido said: “One of the girls was ferried in a Volkswagen golf and thrown into the bush about two days ago and she wandered into the village of Kwarihi, near Mubi.

“From there they called one of the parents to take care of her in Kwarihi. They are taking her to Yola.
“When she was asked, she gave her name as Susanna Ishaya but right now we are not sure if it is her real name until she is really treated because the people that saw her said she is both mentally and phsycally sick and has been taken to the hospital.

“We believe that she was probably abandoned by Boko Haram because of her health.”

The Borno State Government yesterday granted scholarship to 36 of the 57 Chibok school girls who slipped away from  Boko Haram abductors.

As at yesterday, 219 Chibok girls were still in the custody of Boko Haram although there had been covert talks to set them free.
Governor Kashim Shettima said the 36 girls have been admitted into international schools in Abuja, Kaduna and Plateau States.

Fifty one (51) of the girls were meant for admission after six secured a scholarship at an international school in Yola, Adamawa State.

The governor said the government is spending a minimum of N1.4million annual fees on each of the schoolgirls in their new schools besides other costs for welfare.

The governor, who spoke at a brief farewell for the girls at the Government House in Maiduguri , pleaded not to disclose the names of the schools.
He said the schools were kept under wrap in order to shield the girls from public distraction and to safeguard the security of the girls and the new schools.

A Borno State  statement said: “Governor Shettima said he opted to spread the girls in different schools so as not to make suitable, unnecessary visits that would continue to make them subject of public focus given the global attention on them.

“Shettima said the decision to relocate the schoolgirls was reached after psychosocial experts, psychologists, medical doctors, interfaith religious experts, women from civil society organisations and other trauma managers conducted trauma management sessions for the schoolgirls at the Government House in Maiduguri some months back and certified the girls set for continued education.

“The Governor said while it was a hard decision to send the 36 girls back to school when their colleagues were still in captivity, the government he said, has not given up on the girls still held. He said no sane parent would rule out a child that is held in captivity.
“Shettima called on the schoolgirls to be of good behaviors, obey the rules of their new schools, put their bitter experience behind them and focus on their studies so as to achieve their dreams in life.

“The Governor announced that any of the schoolgirls that obtains a minimum of five credits will be awarded automatic scholarship throughout her university education.” Shettima thanked the parents of the 36 girls that released their children for continued education noting that his government was deeply committed to ensuring their children were provided access to the best education money can offer in Nigeria.

“ He said his administration has a bias for female education which was why he introduced a female medical education intervention programme under which 50 female citizens drawn from the 27 local government areas of the state currently undergo full scholarship to study medicine abroad while more will be sent in a continuous exercise.

“Governor Shettima appealed to members of the media not to bring to the public, the new schools ýthe girls would be relocated even if the media gets to find out through investigations. He noted that exposing their schools could expose them and the schools due to the global interest on them.

Borno State Chairman of the Christians Association of Nigeria, Reverend Titus Pona who is an elder in Chibok community, praised Shettima for fulfilling his pledge of relocating the freed schoolgirls to international schools.
But Tsambido criticized the decision of the Borno State government to send some of the girls to Kaduna.

He said, “the journey from Chibok to Biu is a journey that now takes two days because of the level of insurgency; so sending the girls on such a journey with only one government official and no security protection only shows their level of carelessness.

“The girls will not  be able to fully concentrate in their new school since Kaduna itself is not spared from insurgency.”

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