American Billionaire Offers to Pay for Chibok Girls’ Education
African American billionaire, Mr. Robert Smith, who is currently sponsoring 24 of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls that immediately escaped from captivity, at the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, Adamawa State, has offered to also educate the 21 other girls who were freed last October by the Boko Haram terror sect.
Revealing this yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari’s media aide, Mr. Garba Shehu, equally said that 21 Chibok girls were being treated as adoptees of the federal government, but disclosed that there was a lot of local and international interest in the future plans for the girls.
He said: “A black American billionaire, Mr. Robert Smith who is currently sponsoring the education of 24 girls from Chibok, among them the first set of escapees from Boko Haram, at the American University of Nigeria, Yola, has offered to pay for the education of the 21 girls released through negotiations and is offering to take responsibility for all the others who will hopefully be eventually set free.”
“The Murtala Mohammed Foundation in the country is equally interested,” he hinted.
Responding to complaints by the families of the 21 Chibok girls that officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) had not allowed the girls to visit them at their homes in Chibok on Christmas Day, Shehu admitted that there were some hitches arising from a lack of understanding of the objective of the trip on the part of some security operatives.
However, following the receipt of the complaint, he said a directive had been given from the headquarters of the DSS for the access by the parents to be eased.
“If the situation persists, please let us know so that the higher authorities will make a further intercession,” he said.
The families of the 21 Chibok girls freed by Islamist group Boko Haram had said yesterday that they the girls were being closely guarded and were not allowed home for Christmas.
Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls in April 2014, but freed 21 of them in October after negotiations with the Red Cross.
The freed girls have been in the federal government’s custody since their release but were brought home to Chibok for Christmas.
But family members told the BBC that the girls were kept in a politician’s house and barred from going home.
They were also prevented from attending church services with their families.
The girls were taken to the house of an assembly member in Chibok to be reunited with their parents but were not allowed to go to their own homes.
“I can’t believe my daughter has come this close to home but can’t come home,” said one father.
“There’s no point bringing them to Chibok only to be locked in another prison. They couldn’t even go to church on Christmas Day.”
Since their release, the young women have been kept in a secret location in Abuja for government debriefing.
Another said a soldier had confiscated his phone when he tried to take a picture of his daughter.
He said: “I snapped a picture of myself and my daughter but the security guys came and grabbed me by shoulder and snatched the phone from my hands and told me to delete all the picture I took.
“I told him I’m taking a picture with my daughter who was away for more than two years. He said to me that’s not his business, he deleted all the pictures including other pictures that were not taken there.”
One mother said: “I can’t believe my eyes that now my daughter cannot come home. How can I be happy when they don’t have freedom?”