Maiduguri - Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno on Sunday said last week was most troubling since he became governor in May 2011.
Shettima stated this in an Easter message signed by his spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau in Maiduguri.
The governor was reacting to last Tuesday’s abduction of students of Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok by suspected Boko Haram insurgents.
“Although we have witnessed dark days of insurgency inherited by the administration, none of the attacks have been more troubling as the abduction of young girls by deadly insurgents.
“I have seen very serious moments since I became the governor of Borno in 2011 at a period of insurgent crisis.
“I have seen many innocent lives lost for no reason and I mourn every life lost with empathy and high sense of responsibility.
“But the last one week have been my worst days as a governor and even the worst in my life.
“I am troubled as a father, as a leader and as a politician.
“First, as a father, any time my young daughter comes around me in the last one week at the Government House, my heart beats very fast, my heart becomes so heavy and I develop serious headache.
“Because when I look into the eyes of my young daughter, I wonder what the parents of the girls are feeling.
“Their loving daughters are either in the hands of abductors in fear and desperation for freedom or wondering somewhere looking for safety while parents do not know the status of their children’’, he said.
Shetima added that two more girls escaped from the abductors’ den on Saturday bringing the total number of those who escaped to 47.
“Last night, two more girls escaped from captivity, bringing to 47 the number of those with us out of 129 students that were at the hostel on the day of that attack.
“This means 82 students are yet to be found.
“We must, therefore, remain united in our shared grief to pray vehemently for our girls as well as the patriotic security agencies and civilian volunteers currently in relentless search and rescue efforts.
“I once again call on parents and guardians to return any student that might have ran home on the day of that attack, so that we can take records to ascertain our missing students.
“I call on our Christian parents, brothers and sisters to use the Easter period to intensify prayers for the freedom of our daughters, the return of peace in Borno and the rest of Nigeria.
“I also urge all of us to sacrifice our time to support grieving parents and relations, we should be our brothers’ keepers in sacrifice and forgiveness which is what the Easter symbolises”, he said.
Shetima pledged the commitment of his administration to the search for peace and sustainable progress.
He added that he counted on the continued support and prayers of all citizens to make Borno great again. (NAN)