BBC Hausa service was quoted to have reported that Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan 100million largesse to parents of the abducted schoolgirls whose children were kidnapped by Boko Haram.
According to the report, some of the parents allege they were shortchanged by the community leaders. One parent, who was among those who visited the president, told BBC’s Abdu Halilu that he got only N200,000.
“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,” he said.
President Goodluck Jonathan had met with parents of the abducted school girls at the Presidential Villa Abuja following calls from Activist Youzoufa Malala and pressure groups over government’s inability to meet with affected parents. The Chibok Community today addressed the press about what transpired and we decided to publish complete details of the speech that revealed the role of Nigeria’s Presidency in the saga.
KIBAKU AREA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION (KADA)
PRESS RELEASE ON JULY 30, 2014
Gentlemen of the Press,
We are highly disturbed and disgusted by the recent information circulating in the media over alleged receipt of money by the leadership of Kibaku Area Development Association (KADA) from the Presidency. It is with deep sadness that we are addressing you today to state that the claim is completely false, malicious and unfounded. Our primary priority has and remains the rescue of our abducted 219 daughters. Our Association has been at the forefront of calling for decisive measures to secure their release.
We took the moral high ground as a Community Association that represents the Chibok people in Abuja to facilitate the recent visit of parents of our abducted daughters and 51 of the 57 that escaped. We helped make that visit possible despite our misgivings that it was a poor substitute to our expectation that Mr. President should have visited Chibok even before the visit of our people for a tragedy that is now 107 days old.
When the Presidency requested us to invite parents and escaped Chibok girls against 22nd July, 2014, we accepted the responsibility on the condition that we shall facilitate by way of contacting and mobilizing the parents and escaped girls thereby playing the sole role of facilitators.
We clearly spelt out to the Presidency through the office of the Chief of Staff that we shall not be involved with any financial transaction whatsoever, including payment of transportation from Chibok to Yola, flight by air from Yola to Abuja, hotel accommodation and feeding in Abuja, intra-city transportation while in Abuja.
We specifically conveyed our stand in that regard by a letter dated 18th July, 2014 of which copies are available for your perusal. The Presidency agreed to our request and made the arrangements for the conveyance of the parents and escaped girls from Chibok to Abuja, accommodated them and was responsible for their feeding and local transit.
It is noteworthy that our primary and only goal is the safe return of the girls that are still in captivity. It is sad that we are losing sight of this to the allegation of sharing of money.
We therefore want the world to understand that we, KADA stand by our earlier position and DID NOT DEMAND, RECEIVE OR HANDLE ANY FINANCES throughout the process of the visit.
We therefore make public our findings as follows:
1. On the night of the 22nd July, 2014 at about midnight, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Duties who had been co-ordinating the visit on the side of the Presidency, visited the hotel and told the 51 escaped girls who came that the Presidency sent them a token of N100,000.00 each and accordingly gave them the said sum without prior discussion with any KADA official or any other person in the community.
2. He equally gave the sum of N200,000.00 each to 61 parents out of the 122 parents that came on the visit. 51 Parents were given N100,000.00 each on the basis that the money given to him was not enough to go round at N200,000.00. The remaining 10 parents were not given any amount of money.
3. As for the money given to some parents back home in Chibok, it was the sum of N1,000,000.00 given to them by the Hon. Member of the House of Reps representing Chibok/Damboa/Gwoza Federal Constituency which is the source of the alleged N7,000.00 given to parents in Chibok that were not part of the visit.
While we acknowledge that any well intended support for our suffering population which has lost means of livelihood since the events of April 14 and subsequent attacks could be welcome; however the approach that the Presidency adopted has brought reproach and dishonor to our community in the eyes of the public that has supported us since the abduction of our daughters.
We hereby state categorically that NO AMOUNT OF MONEY whatsoever was given to KADA leadership to share among the parents and escaped girls or for whatever reason and therefore the allegation is completely baseless, false and malicious to say the least.
Signed: Dauda Ilya, Spokesperson, KADA Abuja (08034080059)
Date: July 30th, 2014