Contrary to claims by the Presidency, President Goodluck Jonathan offered money to the parents of abducted Chibok girls as well as those whose daughters escaped from the grips of their Boko Haram captors.
After three months of mounting criticism of his handling of the abduction crisis, Mr. Jonathan finally hosted the relatives of the still missing schoolgirls at the Presidential Villa, Abuja last week Tuesday.
Mr. Ilya’s statement contradicted a claim by Reuben Abati, the special adviser to the President on media, that Mr. Jonathan did not give money to the grieving parents when they visited.
“On the night of the 22nd July, 2014 at about midnight, the senior special assistant to the President on special duties, who had been coordinating the visit on the side of the Presidency, visited the hotel and told the 51 escaped girls who came that the Presidency sent them a token of N100, 000 each and accordingly gave them the said sum without prior discussion with any KADA official or any other person in the community,” Mr. Ilya said.
According to him, Mr. Jonathan’s aide also “gave the sum of N200, 000 each to 61 parents out of the 122 parents that came on the visit. 51 parents were given N100, 000 each on the basis that the money given to him was not enough to go round at N200, 000. The remaining 10 parents were not given any amount of money."
He added that a member of the House of Representatives representing the Chibok constituency also gave the parents the sum of one million naira.
“As for the money given to some parents back home in Chibok, it was the sum of N1, 000,000 given to them by the Hon. Member of the House of Reps representing Chibok/Damboa/Gwoza Federal Constituency which is the source of the alleged N7, 000 given to parents in Chibok that were not part of the visit.”