The United States Congressional Delegation representatives have called on the Nigerian government to establish a National Victim Funds to cater for victims of terrorism.
“Today we call upon the government of Nigeria to establish a National Victim Fund for all the victims who are suffering at the hands of Boko Haram,” delegation co-chair Sheila Jackson Lee told reporters in the capital Abuja.
They made this call during a press conference at the Unity Fountain in Abuja as part of global efforts to drum up support for the rescue of the teenage girls kidnapped on April 14 from their school in the north-eastern town of Chibok.
The delegation also reaffirmed the commitment of the United States government to ensure that the over 200 abducted Chibok girls are rescued alive.
With a mission of intervention, prevention and pressure on the international community, the congressional representatives said they will not give up until the abducted girls are brought back.
Jackson-Lee, further expressed optimism that their voices will be heard at the highest level of the Nigerian government. Despite noting that time is said to be running out in bringing back the girls, Jackson-Lee said the US military will explore all options available.
“It is time for economic empowerment and jobs, to … give the young people of the north and all around Nigeria the opportunity for jobs and education,” she said.
Leader of the delegation, Steve Stockman, said the US Congress realised that “the best thing that could happen is if we have a fund set up for those that lost their lives and for the families that remain here on this earth.”
Another member of the delegation, Frederica Wilson said their mission in the country was to put pressure on the international community, including the US and Nigerian governments, to help bring back the girls, who range in age from 16 to 18.
“Everyone around us has a responsibility to find these young girls. And we cannot afford to give up until we find all (the) young women who were kidnapped from a school which is supposed to be a safe place,” she said.
Two of the girls who escaped from their captors attended the news conference but were not allowed to speak.