* condemns Chibok abductions
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has condemned the abduction of over 200 children at a school in Chibok, Borno State saying the occasion of the Children’s Day to support and pray that the efforts being made by the Federal Government will ultimately lead to the release of the abducted children.
The Governor also used the occasion to announce free bus rides for students in uniform in both public and private schools, to and from school, across the state.
He said: “I know that the condition of the child cannot be much more different from the condition of the parents. There is no doubt that things are hard around the country. It is quite possible that many of you have parents who are unemployed you have brothers who have challenges.
“Let me assure you that Edo State Government will continue to do everything possible to support the Edo Child. That is why we are committed to continue on building new schools; schools that will appeal to young ones. We are working hard to clean up the teaching group to ensure that only those who are competent and capable are in the classrooms to teach and to impact knowledge.
Accordng to him, “today, as a mark of our appreciation on the hardship that many of our parents are encountering and the difficulties of the financial challenges that many families are experiencing, I have decided that with effect from tomorrow morning, 6:00am, any Edo Child who is in school uniform going from school or returning from school, if he wears his school uniform, whether he attends a private or public school will no longer pay any ticket for using the Comrade Bus.
“The management will be directed to ply all the routes in Benin City and once you are wearing your uniform, you will board those buses free of charge whether you are going to school or you are returning from school. This is something we are doing just to show that we care. This is one way we can deliver more subsidy in a way that cannot be abused by any middle man.”
While condemning the Chibok incident, Oshiomhole said: “I understand the mood of the nation at this point in time. I know that as children you are rightly worried, traumatized of the fate of your sisters, of our sisters, our daughters who were abducted in Chibok by a blood-thirsty group called Boko Haram. As we are here, we can only imagine the agony, the pain, the degradation, the humiliation, the harassment and all the inhuman treatment they must be experiencing in captivity. But I do understand that because of this, we have had to reflect whether or not we needed to celebrate this year’s Children’s Day. I am clear that today is not about celebration, today is about marking the Children’s Day. I am using this occasion to renew our collective commitment in working hard and encouraging, supporting and praying that the efforts being made by the Federal Government will ultimately lead to the release of these children and they will reunite with their parents unharmed.
It is an occasion for us as individual Nigerians, as fathers, as mothers, as brothers as sisters and even as children in unison to condemn in the strongest terms possible, this criminal act by a gang which is clearly blood-thirsty. They do not represent any religion, they can only be described as sadists who do not spare anyone, including innocent children.
“As children, I know that you are worried about this, as a father I am worried, everyone is worried ; we are all concerned. Our hearts are with the parents, the guardians and families of these abducted children, we can only imagine how they feel.”