President Muhammadu Buhari conveyed a message of optimism to parents of the missing Chibok schoolgirls during the parents' meeting with the Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima on Saturday.
At the Government House in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, Governor Shettima met with 90 parents out of the more than 200 parents of the missing schoolgirls. According to a press release from Isa Gusau, a government spokesperson in Maiduguri, the full number of parents were unable to attend due to security reasons, and the meeting was held in Maiduguri instead of Chibok in order to avoid disrupting ongoing military actions against Boko Haram in the region.
219 girls remain missing out of the 276 originally kidnapped by Boko Haram militants on April 14, 2014.
“I am optimistic that the girls are still alive and will soon be rescued and handed over to you parents by the grace of God,” President Buhari commented through a representative at the meeting.
The president promised economic support and help with trauma management, and said that the government is working its hardest to assure the return of their daughters. “We have not lost hope in recovering them, indeed no sane parent gives up on the recovery of a missing child,” his remarks read.
Thursday marked the 500th day since the schoolgirls were abducted from their secondary school in southern Borno State.