by ‘Jola Sotubo
The nation is still reeling from the mass abduction of 234 schoolgirls from the Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok in Borno.
More devastated by the unfortunate incident however are those directly involved; the parents of the girls.
The father of one of the girls told of his fears for his daughter and of the rescue attempt made by the parents in a recent interview with Punch. Excerpts below:
What is your name?
I will tell you but please don’t publish it. Don’t publish my daughter’s name too.
What came to your mind when you learnt that your child was kidnapped?
It was a painful experience which my entire family is yet to recover from. We felt everything had come to a standstill. What is paining me is that up till now, soldiers have not gone after our children.
Once, the parents went after the abducted students but we had to turn back after we were told their abductors were well-armed. We thought government would go after them but the government has not gone after them till now (Wednesday). The government said they were trying to rescue them but till now, we cannot see any concrete thing on the ground.
What fears do you have?
My fear is that we heard that they selected the big and mature girls in the school and they have taken them to a place we don’t know.
Why do you think they were kidnapped?
The mature ones are to be married as wives and to do house chores, but we do know not what they are doing with the little ones.
How is your family coping?
I cannot just understand my wife now, she is not even talking. I have been trying to console her without success that our daughter will soon come back.
What was the last conversation you had with your daughter before the incident?
When she was going to school, I gave her all she needed. I told her to face her studies and to shun bad company.
Did you have such experience in the past?
Are you making further personal plans to look for your daughter?
We can only depend on God to rescue them; we cannot go into the bush again.
Were you part of those that initially went on the rescue mission?
How would you describe the journey?
We went two kilometres after Bale, which is around the Sambisa area, and some of the people we saw advised us to turn back because the insurgents were heavily armed. They told us that without security men, if we went there, none of us would return, it was then we decided to turn back.
How old is your daughter?
She is 19 years old.