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Tuesday, 14 June 2016
People making money out of our grief – Chibok parents
Some parents of the missing Chibok girls have alleged that some people have been making money out of them.
This disclosure is coming against the backdrop of complaints by parents that their advocates were not being accountable to those of them still living in Chibok and its surrounding villages.
The President’s wife had three weeks ago presented a cheque of N55m to the parents of the missing Chibok schoolgirls and those of the Buni Yadi School boys.The parents, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone on Monday, also disclosed that they had yet to receive the N30m donations made by Aisha, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Dolapo, wife of the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, collected the cheque of N30m on behalf of their parents while the Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Khadijat Bukar, received the cheque of N25m meant for the parents of the Buni Yadi boys.
However, Yana Galla, the chairperson of the association of the parents of the missing Chibok schoolgirls living in Chibok and its surrounding villages, dispelled the rumours that the monies had been shared to them.
Galla said the money was still with the aides to the President’s wife.
The PUNCH learnt there are still concerns of mistrust about how the Chibok parents perceived the activities of some advocates and officials.
Ladi Lawan Zannah and some of the parents of the missing girls, while speaking on the awaited donations, said many people had turned their grief into a money-making venture and feeding fat on it.
She said apart from the N100,000 assistance they received from the Borno State Government in August of 2015, the last assistance they got since then was N5,000, which they received from MTN Foundation during the second year anniversary of the abductions of the girls, this year.
“We only hear that something has been given and we have been waiting endlessly for it to get to us. Will it come today or the next day? This has always been the case, whereas the assistance may never get to us,” she said.
On the N30m donations by Aisha Buhari, Ladi said, “ The only thing we have ever got was two pairs of wrapper and N5,000 which accompanied it."
“If the money was released, it hasn’t reached us. The N5,000 I talked about with the wrapper was given to us during the second anniversary prayers of our missing daughter’s.”
Ayama Pogu a retired Assistant Superintendent of Police, who complained bitterly, asked the government to rethink its engagement with all of those claiming to be representing them.
He added that the Chibok parents were being shortchanged.
He said the assistance giving to the Chibok parents often ended up in the wrong hands, adding that he had lost confidence in all the officials who had been representing them.
He said, “Some people have been making money out of our grief. Never at anytime has any of these officials who have gone to meet with the government on our behalf, either come back to brief us or revealed to us the outcome of their meeting.