Chibok parents cried out : Our leaders cheated us over N100m Jonathan’s gift

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The Presidency has debunked the rumour about N100 million cash gift allegedly given to parents of abducted Chibok girls when they met President Goodluck Jonathan on July 22 at the Presidential Villa. In some reports contrary to presidency statement, it is learnt that the N100 million is now causing disquiet among the aggrieved parents.

They have reportedly cried out that they have been cheated by
their community leaders in the sharing formula.

The Presidency allegedly handed over the money to leaders of the
Chibok community in Abuja for onward presentation to parents of
the abducted schoolgirls.

According to a report monitored on Hausa service of the British
Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, however, some of the parents are
now alleging that the Abuja-based community leaders have
shortchanged them.
One parent, who was among those who visited the President, told
BBC that he got only N200,000.

He said: “I got only N200,000 out of the said N100million allegedly
received by our leaders in Abuja. Some of us got N300,000 and
some less than that.

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He also said that he was not comfortable with the way the money
was shared among parents of the kidnapped girls.

According to him: “Our leaders in Abuja are using the girls to
enrich themselves. In fact, some of the parents were screened out
of the entourage by the Chibok leaders in Abuja. Many of them are
residents of Abuja, not parents of the kidnapped girls”.

Another parent, who was screened out of the delegation that
visited the President, said he got only N7,000 out of the money
shared.

“I was at the farm when they brought the N7, 000 to my house and
I collected it. Some of us got even less, some got N300 and
below,” he said.

The parents stressed that they were not selling their daughters and
that the money from the President just came to them as they
neither asked for, nor expected it.

One of the community leaders, Pobu Bitrus, who is also a member
of the House of Representatives and was at the meeting with the
President explained to the BBC that after meeting with the
President, monies were distributed to the parents in envelopes.

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“After we met with the president, the parents were given monies in
envelopes and that’s all. All other things they are saying about
N100million, I don’t know about that,” Mr. Bitrus said.

In its reaction, yesterday, the Presidency however said that it
never gave N100 million to parents of the abducted school girls,
who were at the Presidential Villa, Abuja last week, saying the
story was absolutely false.

According to Vanguard, Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, who noted that the government only took care of the parents’ accommodation and feeding, said “the story is absolute falsehood.

“The President did not give any N100m to the visitors from
Chibok. Government took care of their accommodation, feeding
and transportation.

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“Government’s plan is robust rehabilitation and resettlement of the
girls who have escaped so they can continue their education.
“The government also plans to rebuild the school and in general
terms, repair damaged infrastructure as a result of Boko Haram
insurgency in the North East.”

Three months after the Chibok girls were abducted, President
Jonathan finally agreed to meet with their parents following an
appeal by the Pakistan girl-child education activist Malala
Yusoufai. The Presidency had faced intense criticism over its
handling of the kidnap of the Chibok girls being held by the
extremist Boko Haram sect since April 14.