A new controversy is brewing in Chibok village, in Borno State with parents of the abducted girls alleging that they have been shortchanged by Chibok community leaders who received 100 million naira cash gift from the Presidency, on their behalf.
Although a presidential aide denied any such gift to Chibok parents, through their leaders, one parent, Mr Abdu Halidu, told the BBC that he got only N200, 000 from the money.
Now the parents of the missing girls are saying that the amount shared to them is unacceptable.
According to Mr Halidu “I got only N200, 000 out of the said N100 million. Some of us got N300,000 and some less than that. Our leaders in Abuja are using the girls to enrich themselves and this is unacceptable.”
Over 200 schoolgirls were abducted by gunmen who stormed the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, North-East Nigeria in the dead of the night of April 15, ordering all the girls out of their hostels into four lorries.
On July 22, a special presidential meeting was held with the parents of the Chibok girls in the Presidential Villa which afforded the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, the opportunity to empathize with the girls and their parents.
The President, after assuring the Chibok community of his Government’s determination to ensure that the abducted schoolgirls that are still in captivity are brought out alive, reassured them that everything would be done to make things easier for them especially the ones that have already escaped and the ones yet to be rescued.
President Jonathan also assured them that their education would not be allowed to suffer. The statement released by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, after the meeting made no mention of a cash gift to the parents.
Community Leaders Deny
Meanwhile, the leadership of Kibaku community an umbrella body for the Chibok community has denied claims that money exchanged hands after the community’s meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan.
National Publicity Secretary of the community, Mr Allen Manase, said that they also heard from the media that monies were given to the families of the abducted girls and such a story cannot be confirmed because they do not have any knowledge of the said exchange.
He went on to say that even if monies were to exchange hands it should have been given to the leadership of the community to ensure that it gets to all affected persons.
He urged the Federal Government to instead concentrate on rescuing the girls and returning them to their families and then it can decide to help in rehabilitating them.