Babagana Zulum, the governor of Borno State, is hopeful that the remaining Chibok girls and others still held captive by Boko Haram will return safely.
He stated this as an assurance to the parents of the girls abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok in April 2014.
“As a father of all sons and daughters of Borno, I have not lost hope that our remaining Chibok schoolgirls and other abducted persons will be safely recovered,” the governor was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Isa Gusau.
He added, “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.”
Zulum, as a father of daughters, said he could not imagine the pains of having one’s daughter held by terrorists for as long as seven years.
He urged parents, especially anyone with a female child, to pause for a while and imagine how it would feel to have their daughter abducted and held for more than 2,549 days.
Pains Of Anxiety, Depression
The governor was worried by the series of imaginations that could come to the minds of the parents and relations of the girls still held in the captivity of the insurgents.
According to him, 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,” said Governor Zulum.
He noted that he has had a series of interactions with President Muhammadu Buhari on the release of the girls, adding that the President was as concerned as their parents.
“Countless times, the President has shown me that he is not losing hope on the Chibok girls. He says to me although a number of our 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.
“I believe the President and I urge everyone in Borno to sustain prayers for those girls and everyone in abduction to be safely freed, and for peace to be fully and permanently restored in Borno,” the governor said.
He prayed for peace in Borno and gave an assurance that the state government would not relent in its support for security agencies and funding thousands of recruited volunteers.