The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, called on the Federal Government to redouble its efforts toward securing the release of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram.
The lawmakers also urged the government to do everything within its reach to free Leah Sharibu and others from their abductors.
This followed a motion under matters of urgent public importance by Rep. Asabe Vilita-Bashir (APC-Borno) at a plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Yusuff Lasun, at National Assembly, Abuja.
No fewer than 276 of the female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, were abducted by Boko Haram group on April 14, 2014.
Out of this number, 57 of the girls escaped before the insurgents could transport them to their base in Sambisa Forest, four others escaped after two years while a total of 103 were released after an agreement with the Federal Government.
Moving the motion, Vilita-Bashir, who represents Chibok/Gwoza/Damboa Federal Constituency, said it was disheartening that after five years of abduction, about 112 of the girls were still in the custody of the terrorists.
”The House notes that the April 14 marked the 5th anniversary of the kidnapped 219 Chibok girls by the Boko Haram insurgents.
”The House further notes that over 100 Dapchi schoolgirls were also abducted by the same insurgents.
”The House is concerned that in spite of the local and international cries, 112 of the Chibok girls, Leah Sharibu and Alice Ngaddah are still in captivity.
The lawmaker, who commended the Federal Government for its efforts so far, said there was the need to do more towards ensuring all the abductees’ freedom.
Contributing, Rep Diri Douye (PDP-Bayelsa) said it was unfortunate that the country was still faced with the challenge of securing the release of the remaining girls five years after.
”It is heart-bleeding for us to still be talking about the release of our sisters who have been in the captivity for five years. This same thing goes to Leah Sharing.
”If efforts had been intensified, I know today, we would not be raising this motion. This is a wakeup call for the Federal Government and all of us,” he said.
Rep Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje (PDP-Abia) said it was sad that some of the parents had died while waiting for their daughters’ return.
The lawmaker, who commended the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group, said the country had failed in its responsibility of securing the lives of its citizens.
”Around the world, this has been the conversation, even in the U.S.,” she said.
Also speaking, Rep Ken Chikere, who commended the Federal Government for its effort so far, noted that government still deserved some praises so that it could do more.
Rep Sergius Ogun (PDP-Edo) said there was the need for the government to tell the abducted girls’ parents and the nation on the current status of the girls.
On his part, Rep Toby Okechukwu (PDP-Enugu), who said it was unimaginable the way the girls were kidnapped by the terrorists, queried why it had taken such a long time to secure their release.
”Until we begin to be accountable, we nay not be able to find solutions to our problems.
”People in government should begin to exercise their functions with some levels of responsibility,” he said.
The Deputy Speaker, Mr Lasun, said it was painful that after the Chibok girls’ abduction, ”we still have another girls being captured by the insurgents.”
”It is painful because in my area, my people say it is better for a child to be announced dead than to be declared missing.
”We just need to improve on our security architecture,” he said.
Lasun, however, remarked that ”with the knowledge or fact that some of the girls might have died in the hands of their abductors, coupled with some of the security personnel who might have lost their lives in the course of rescuing the girls,” he urged the House to rise up for a minute silence.