The governor of Borno state, Professor Babagana Zulum, has ordered the immediate commencement of the rehabilitation of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok which suffered insurgency attacks in 2014.
The order was given by Zulum on Monday, after he inspected the school where over 200 girls were abducted by Boko Haram on April 14, 2014.
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The defunct Presidential Residential Committee on North-east Intervention (PCNI) had previously carried out some rehabilitation work in the school, however, some of its roofs had reportedly collapsed when Zulum visited.
It will be recalled that prior to these more definitive actions taken by Zulum to rehabilitate the school, five years ago, the Jonathan administration had pledged to rebuild the school after the attack in which over 200 girls were abducted.
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In March 2015, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the former minister of finance and current DG-elect of the World Trade Organisation, visited Chibok and laid the foundation stone for the construction of a new school of international standards to replace the vandalised one.
“That school, the president is determined and he promised publicly that he will have the school rebuilt. The plans are ready; they are working with engineers. In no far distance, we will be able to start work in that school; he has already approved that,” Okonjo-Iweala had said.
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However, according to Zulum, nothing had since been done and the school has remained in bad shape since the attack.
“I hereby direct the ministry of education to deploy a team of experts to assess the entire school and come up with a design and costing so that I can approve the immediate reconstruction and remodeling of this school. We will also ensure that the school is allocated adequate teachers, already I have given a directive for recruitment of more teachers both on permanent and ad-hoc staffing that will include volunteer teachers,” Zulum said.
“Of course, before allocation of teachers, the reconstruction will involve the provision of all components of learning materials including functional laboratory for sciences. By the I return here next time, I want to see a completely different scene.”
About 106 of the girls have regained their freedom while the whereabouts of over 100 of them remains unknown.
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In additon to his visit to the school, Zulum also visited 83 families who had suffered Boko Haram attacks in Takulashi, a community in Chibok local government. He also directed the release of N11m as social protection for them.
“What happened in Takulashi is very unfortunate, we share your pains and we all believe that nothing can equal the value of a single life. However, I will present token to support the 83 families affected,” he said.