By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday commissioned the newly remodelled Government Girls Secondary school Chibok Local Government Area of Borno state which was hitherto attacked by the dreaded Boko Haram sect.
The new school is now ‘Government Secondary School’ as is mixed with Boys and Girls.
The attack which took place on 14th April, 2014 had left about 276 school girls, mostly Christians being abducted and feried into Sambisa forest, after destruction of properties within the school premises.
Since then, former President Goodluck Jonathan through his finance minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iwella visited Chibok in March 2015, where she laid a foundation for rebuilding the school, and not until President Muhammadu Buhari came on board, in which, the Borno State Government under the leadership of Governor Babagana Umara Zulum took over and completed the project this year.
Although, quite a number of the abducted schoolgirls escaped, about 112 of them were in captivity or married off to the terrorists as their whereabouts is still unknown.
Buhari who was represented by Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, said, she was in the state to bring a goodwill message of President Buhari to the people of Borno, especially those in Chibok.
She thanked Borno State Government for single handedly renovated the school.
Government she said, is determined to provide quality of education, especially to the down trodden improve the girl child education.
She noted that the present administration is also determined to root out insurgency in the North-East region and the country as a whole to enable citizens return to normal life.
“We sympathize with the Chibok community. We know what you are going through. But I want to assure you that we are working day and night to make sure that life returns to normal both in your community and all others affected by terrorism.
“I want to appeal to Chibok leaders and the community to continue give their maximum support to the present administration under the leadership of Governor Babagana Umara Zulum who is ever willing to give girl child education the desire it needs”. The minister stated.
The Chief Host, Governor Babagana Umara Zulum thanked president Buhari for his support and cooperation to the state Government obtained the required funds which led to the completion of all the destroyed structures, and pledged his administration’s commitment to uplifting the education sector in the state.
He prayed God Almighty to rescue the remaining schools Girls and all those still in the captivity of Boko Haram.
“The reconstructed Chibok school have a state of the art classrooms, library and laboratory, computer and ICT Center, a sports arena and a clinic.
“For security, it has a gate house and observation post to be manned by well-equipped security agents.
“This administration promised to rebuild the Government Secondary School in Chibok which was destroyed by terrorists. Today, I am glad that we are all witnessing the official commissioning of the completed befitting projects.
“We want our students to go back to school. We want them to get the education they need to live a decent life. We will support them and we will do everything we can to support their parents and the entire community.
“We will also not forget the Chibok girls. We are working hard to ensure that they return home. As a father, I can feel the pain of the parents. What happened was tragic. But I want you to know that this administration cares. We will not abandon our children. We are with you.
He used the opportunity and commissioned numerous projects executed by the state government to mark his two years anniversary.
The projects executed by Zulum’s administration and lined up for commissioning include, the newly constructed Government Lodges in Chibok and Askira Uba LGA, Mbabala Technical College also in Chibok, Primary Health Care Centres in Mbalala and Wamdeo in Askira Uba, 200 Housing Units in Chibok town, 20 double classrooms in Damboa, boreholes in Mboa community as well as distribution of palliatives among others.
In her welcome address, the Principal of the school, Hajiya Asabe Ali Kwongla, thanked Governor Zulum for the gesture, and solicited for reequipping of the school laboratory, provision of school bus/Tricycle for any emergency or eventuality and additional teachers to meet the demands of the students.
Vanguard report that over 3000 students in Chibok have been unable to return to school since the deadly attack by Boko Haram in the community, but with the reopening of the new edifices, hundreds of students have been enrolled into various classes amidst tight security.