A delegation of US Congress members have called on the Nigerian government to set up a National Victims’ Fund for the rehabilitation of all those who have suffered under the reign of terror of the Boko Haram sect.
US Congress woman, Sheila Jackson-Lee, speaking on behalf of the Humanitarian Mission delegation in Abuja yesterday expressed the commitment of the US government to work with Nigeria for the release of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.
“…Collectively, we bring a wide range of special knowledge to Nigeria and to focus on a very important issue. We have come from the United States to focus on bringing the girls back and to focus on stopping the violence of Boko Haram,” she said.
The victims' fund, she explained, would be necessary to ameliorate the sufferings of victims, and to help rehabilitate the girls who escaped from the captivity of the terrorist sect.
She recalled that a certain Nigerian woman had borne witness to the decapitation of her husband, a policeman, by the sect, and had her throat and arms slashed. The woman, Jackson-Lee said, has not received any compensation till date.
“So we come today with a solution, we also come today in asking the North-east and Nigeria to continue to accept international help and it is time to find a way to contain Boko Haram and save the lives of so many,” she said.
Other congress members at the press conference held at the Unity Fountain, Abuja, which has now become a symbol of solidarity with the abducted girls, were Steve Stockman, Frederica Wilson and Lois Frankel.
Jackson-Lee expressed appreciation to President Barack Obama and the US Congress for their determination to rescue the abducted girls.
“We also believe that it is important to focus on our children and to acknowledge that more than 10 million children in Nigeria are not in school, many of them are in the North-east.
“It is time for economic empowerment and jobs to take the children away from Boko Haram, put them in schools and give the young people in the North-east and in Nigeria the opportunity for jobs and education,” she said.
The Humanitarian Mission, she explained, speaks in unity about the crisis inflicted on the girls as well as women and their families who have been traumatised by the sect.
She also urged the Borno State Government and the North-east region to work to stop the activities of the sect.