Nearly four days after the 82 young ladies abducted from Chibok three years were freed by their Boko Haram captors, their parents and guarduans are yet to set eyes on them, Everyday.NG investigations have shown.
Efforts, it was gathered, are on for a face to face meeting but specific details of the arrangements were shrouded in secrecy last night, typical of the country’s secret police, thd Department of Statd Services (DSS).
But Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said on phone that his Women Affairs Ministry counterpart, Senator Aisha Alhassan, was co-ordinating efforts to reach the parents individually and notify them of their freed wards, as well as work out the logistics of a meeting.
“Meawhile, the emphasis of government is to rehabilitate these girls, medically, psychologically.. Don’t forget they have been under captivity for three years.Some of them still have shrapnel wounds; some of them suffer from a lot of trauma; and therefore the priority of government right now is to prepare the girls mentally and physically to adjust to their new environment, while informing the parents,” he added.
Indications first emerged of the blackout of parents in a statement by the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group when its co-ordinators, Aisha Yesufu and Oby Ezekwesili, issued a statement Tuesday evening.
In the statement titled,#BringBackOurGirls verifying list of 82 returned #ChibokGirls, the group wrote:
“Our movement has begun the elementary process of verification and authentication of the identities of our released 82 #ChibokGirls based on the list in the public domain (this list alone does not suffice for our process). We shall communicate our full report with the public soon.
“We urge the federal government to use the Verification, Authentication, and Reunification System (VARS) in confirming the identities of our returned 82 #ChibokGirls.
“We also urge the federal government to quickly liaise with parents of our #ChibokGirls and the KADA (Kibaku Area Development Association) ie the Chibok community as was done the four previous times our girls have returned.”
Spokesman for KADA, Dr. Manasseh Allen, in response to our enquiries on why access had not been granted said he had no rexplanation for the development.
“I can’t understand why. The position of loved ones especially parents is critical in identification profiling and also key to kick start the rehabilitation process.,” he added.
Asked if efforts had been made by parents to contact government, Allen said: ” We are dealing with majority illiterate parents that can’t even reach the chairman of their local government, so, who is supposed to do the reach out? The FG can improve on what was done for the 21 released last October to fasttrack reaching out to the parents for proper identifications/Verifications before they start out.”