Seven years after Boko Haram terrorists abducted over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok Girls’ Secondary School including destroying the school structure, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday commissioned the newly remodelled school in Chibok local government area of Borno State.
LEADERSHIP recall that there has been ill-feeling from the Chibok community over the abandonment of the school years after its destruction despite the huge amount said to have been approved for the reconstruction of the school.
Meanwhile, with the completion of the reconstruction work, the remodelled school has been renamed ‘Government Secondary School Chibok’ as it is now a mix school of boys and girls.
It could also be recalled that in the attack, which took place on April 14, 2014, no fewer than 276 of the schoolgirls were abducted afterwhich some of them escaped from their abductors while the federal government secured the freedom of some others afterwards even as over 100 of them are still in the hands of the Boko Haram terrorists.
LEADERSHIP reports that after the abduction and destruction of the school, the then President Goodluck Jonathan through the then finance minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, visited Chibok in March 2015, where he laid a foundation for rebuilding the school.
Nothing was thereafter until President Buhari came on board and the Borno State government under Governor Babagana Umara Zulum took over and completed the project this year.
Representative of President Buhari at the commissioning ceremony, Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, said she was in the state to bring a goodwill message of the President to the people of Borno, especially those in Chibok.
She thanked the Borno State government for single-handedly renovating the school.
Talked noted that the federal government was determined to provide quality education, especially to the downtrodden to improve the girl-child education in the country.
She said the present administration was also determined to rout out insurgency in the North-East region and the country as a whole to enable citizens return to normal life.
Mrs Tallen said: “We sympathise with the Chibok community. We know what you are going through. But I want to assure you that we are working day and night to make sure that life returns to normal, both in your community and all others affected by terrorism.
“I want to appeal to Chibok leaders and the community to continue give their maximum support to the present administration under the leadership of Governor Babagana Umara Zulum who is ever willing to give girl child education the desire it needs.”
In his remarks, Governor Zulum thanked President Buhari for his support and cooperation to the state government to obtain the required funds which led to the completion of all the destroyed structures, and pledged his administration’s commitment to uplifting the education sector in the state.
He prayed God Almighty to rescue the remaining schoolgirls and all those still in the captivity of Boko Haram.
“The reconstructed Chibok school have a state-of-the-art classrooms, library and laboratory, computer and ICT center, a sports arena and a clinic.
“For security, it has a gate house and observation post to be manned by well-equipped security agents.
“This administration promised to rebuild the Government Secondary School in Chibok which was destroyed by terrorists. Today, I am glad that we are all witnessing the official commissioning of the completed befitting project.
“We want our students to go back to school. We want them to get the education they need to live a decent life. We will support them and we will do everything we can to support their parents and the entire community.
“We will also not forget the Chibok girls. We are working hard to ensure that they return home. As a father, I can feel the pain of the parents. What happened was tragic. But I want you to know that this administration cares. We will not abandon our children. We are with you,” Zulum said.
He also used the opportunity and commissioned numerous projects executed by the state government to mark his second year anniversary in office.
In her welcome address, the principal of the school, Hajiya Asabe Ali Kwongla, thanked Governor Zulum for the gesture, and solicited for reequipping of the school laboratory, provision of school bus and tricycle for any emergency or eventuality and additional teachers to meet the demands of the students.