ABUJA – The Presidency on Thursday expressed deep concerns over the increasing use of underage girls as suicide bombers by the Boko Haram insurgent group.
Special Assistant to the President on New Media, Reno Omokri, described the trend as “unfortunate;” urging Nigerians to cooperate with the security agencies to reverse the ugly situation.
Writing on his Twitter page, Omokri said the Presidency shared in the pains of the parents of the abducted Chibok girls, noting that they had been eagerly awaiting their rescue.
Stating that the Chibok parents are “hurting,” he urged Nigerians to desist from spreading misinformation capable of dampening their morale on social media.
“Kudos to the men of the Nigeria Police who nabbed two suspected female suicide bombers; including, unfortunately, a 10-year-old strapped with bombs.
“As the Chibok parents are hurting, we must all comfort them as we await the rescue of our daughters. Let us not compound their sorrows with false stories,” the presidential aide wrote on his official Twitter page.
Meanwhile, a former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, has described the controversial N100m gift allegedly given to the Chibok parents by the Presidency as “filthy lucre.”
Ezekwesili said it was shameful for the Presidency to have resorted to distributing “brown envelopes” to grieving parents in its bid to break the ranks of the members of the Chibok community.
She particularly identified the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, as being the presidential aide who coordinated the sharing of the N100m largesse.
She noted that the Presidency would have done the Chibok parents and community at large a lot of good by instituting a “livelihood” support programme for them.
She tweeted, “I wish the Chibok parents resisted the filthy lucre. I really wish they did. How much can douse the agony of a missing child? But to have a so-called Senior Special Assistant (Okupe) log a bag of money and sharing envelopes to grieving parents in the dead of the night, is repugnant.
“Then again, this is one more in the serial pattern of distractions and diversion. So we must not help it succeed. We must stand for our girls. It would have been much tidier and nobler to transparently design a livelihood support for those poor families on humanitarian ground.”
Ezekwesili added that although she and other members of the #BringBackOurGirls coalition were disappointed with the Chibok parents for receiving money from the Presidency, they would continue to campaign for the safe return of the schoolgirls. [eap_ad_2] Noting that members of the coalition are driven by a strong bond of shared humanity for the girls in Boko Haram custody, she stated that whatever their parents might have done won’t change the group’s stand.
“Regardless of our disappointment, we must stand resolute in demanding action for successful rescue of our Chibok girls. That’s our focus! We are not moved by that PR machinery. We stand on the integrity and strength of our conviction,” she wrote on her Twitter page.
Besides, wife of the Senior Pastor of Daystar Christian Centre, Nike Adeyemi, has urged Nigerians not to relent in praying for a way of escape for the Chibok girls, noting that the schoolgirls must not be forgotten.
She wrote, “Much pain, yet more than enough opportunities to love, comfort, ease and heal pain. In spite of the darkness that covers the earth, let the Light in you shine. Don’t forget the Chibok girls. They need a voice of love, voice of hope. I won’t stop being a missionary of love,” she tweeted on Thursday.
Also, the National Orientation Agency has continued with its social media-led enlightenment campaign to enlist the support of Nigerians towards the ongoing war against terrorism.
In several messages on its Twitter and Facebook pages, the NOA urged Nigerians to exhibit a new vigour of patriotism and conviction that the fatherland is superior to all others, since they were born in it.
The NOA said the conception of the citizenry on patriotism must be progressive, adding that the national interest must supersede parochial leanings.
“Moral cowardice that keeps us from speaking our minds is as dangerous to this country as irresponsible talk. The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character,” the NOA wrote in a post on Facebook, quoting the late American politician, Margaret Chase-Smith.