BY FRANCIS OKOYE, Maiduguri
Borno State governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum has assured parents of the 112 Chibok Schoolgirls still in the custody of the Boko Haram terrorists that President Muhammadu Buhari is not losing hope until the girls regain freedom from captivity.
The governor said a number of times, the president said to him, that although some of the girls were reunited with their parents and are being catered for by the federal government, he is not happy until the remaining girls are freed.
Zulum said he believes the president and thus urged everyone in Borno to sustain prayers for the girls and everyone in captivity to be set free, and for peace to be fully and permanently restored in the state.
This was contained in a special message made by Zulum to the people of the state on Wednesday in commemoration of the 7th year anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok girls, which was made available to newsmen in Maiduguri by Malam Isa Gusau, special adviser to the governor on media and public strategy.
The governor said as a father of daughters, he can’t even imagine the pains of having ones daughter held by terrorists for as long as seven whole years.
Zulum said:” However, I urge parents, especially anyone with a female child to pause for a while, no matter how brief, to imagine how it might feel to have one’s daughter abducted and held for more than 2,549 days so far. Imagine how parents and relations of these girls have been feeling in each of these days.
“ Certainly, the mental torture of not knowing the fate of one’s daughter in the hands of Boko Haram is far worse than losing a child.
“ No parent can ever lose hope in a missing child and having that hope comes with so much pains of anxiety and depression.
“ Parents of Chibok schoolgirls have been devastated yet they have demonstrated faith and strength in the hope of reconnecting with their missing daughters. They deserve our continued empathy, our compassion, our support and most importantly, sharing their optimism.
“ As a father of all sons and daughters of Borno, I haven’t lost hope that our remaining Chibok schoolgirls and other abducted persons will be safely recovered.
“ From my series of interactions with the President, Commander in Chief, Muhammadu Buhari, I have seen in him that he is as concerned as the parents of the Chibok girls and all of us. “