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Chibok: Abducted Girls' Parents Slam Presidential Committee

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA, May 26, (THEWILL) â€' The Presidential Fact-finding Committee on the over 200 schoolgirls abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State has come under criticism for failing to visit Chibok.

Describing the action of the committee as sheer irresponsibility and an insult on their sensibility as human and citizens of Nigerians, the traumatised parents of the abducted girls noted that with the action, the saying that thunder does not strike twice had been proven wrong. The committee which said it will be returning to Chibok to conclude its assignment never did.

Maintaining that they were first insulted by President Goodluck Jonathan who promised to visit them but aborted the plan, the parents said now the Presidential fact-finding committee which was set up to unravel the mystery behind the abduction has equally shunned Chibok.

Making the condemnation Monday, the parents said there is no way the committee can do a thorough job without visiting Chibok.

'They told us they were coming on Tuesday and we were waiting for them. All the parents of the (abducted) girls with other community leaders gathered in front of the school (GGSS) waiting for them but they refused. We thought they've postponed the visit and interaction with us till Wednesday and we waited again but they didn't come,' Maina Chibok, one of the parents said .

'We learnt they met elders of Borno Emirate and other people in Maiduguri but what do these people know about our case. Why is government afraid to come to Chibok, what kind of thing is the committee finding in Maiduguri and not in our town where our daughters were kidnapped? '

Another resident of Chibok said the committee should have spent more time in the town if it was determined to unravel causes of the abduction, saying 'the committee should have access to security personnel to provide security if members were scared of the area.'

On Friday, the Chairman of the committee, Maj Gen Ibrahim Sabo, said at the Maiduguri Government House Council Chamber that the committee was rounding off its interaction with stakeholders on the Chibok abduction by meeting the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima.

He said the committee had interacted with military officers and heads of security agencies in the state, Borno elders, principal of the GGSS and management members of the school among others. On Monday, a statement by the spokesman of the committee, Kingsley Osadolor, said the committee has returned to Abuja on Sunday.

Members of the Committee arrived in Maiduguri, the state capital, on Sunday, May 18. Over the past eight days, the Committee held consultations and interactions with a broad spectrum of stakeholders and credible sources relevant to the Committee's assignment.

Among those with whom the Committee interfaced are the Shehu of Borno, military Commanders, heads of paramilitary formations, the state Commissioner of Police, and state Director of the Department of State Services.

'The Committee also had intensive engagement with the Principal, Vice Principals (Administration and Academic) of Government Secondary School, Chibok, where the mass abduction took place; the Matrons of the hostels, head cook, and security guards on duty on the day of the incident, April 14, 2014. The Divisional Police Officer in charge of Chibok was equally debriefed by the Committe,' the statement said.