Contrary to earlier reports, the parents of the schoolgirls kidnapped by the Boko Haram insurgents in Chibok, Borno state have denied allegation of collecting N100 million as a gift from the presidency when they visited President Goodluck Jonathan on 22 July, 2014.
It would be recalled that it was reported in the media that the presidency doled out a huge sum of N100m to the parents when they held a meeting with Jonathan recently.
Since the reports emerged, many Nigerians have called the parents of the Chibok girls names for collecting such amount of money from the presidency while their children are still with kidnappers.
Only on Tuesday, the coordinator of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, Oby Ezekwesili went on her twitter handle to condemn the presidency for giving out such money to the parents and some of the schoolgirls that escaped from the Boko Haram insurgents when they visited the Aso Rock in Abuja.
But in a statement released on Wednesday, 30 July, 2014, the leadership of the Kibaku Area Development Association (KADA), the group that represented the Chibok people in Abuja, denied knowledge of a reported N100 million presidential gift to the delegation that visited President Jonathan.
The group explained that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Duties, Prof. Dan Adebiyi, after the Aso Rock meeting, visited the hotel in the night and told the girls that the presidency had sent them a token of N100,000 each.
“Of the 122 parents who visited, he gave 61 N200,000 each and 51 N100,000 each. The remaining 10 parents were told that the money was finished”, spokesperson of KADA, Dauda Iliya said.
He also stated that he got no money and neither did Adebiyi, who coordinated the visit.
The spokesperson said the group was only concerned about the abduction of the over 200 female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, kidnapped on April 14.
“It is noteworthy that our primary goal is the safe return of the girls that are still in captivity. It is sad that we are losing sight of this to the allegation of sharing money.
“We, therefore, want the world to understand that we, KADA stand by our earlier position and did not demand, receive or handle any finances throughout the process of the visit.
“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 that the President 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.
“He equally 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.
On the controversial N1 million given to the parents by the member of the House of Reps representing Chibok/Damboa/Gwoza Federal Constituency, Hon. Biye Gumtha, Iliya said: “As for the money given to some parents back home in Chibok, it was from the sum of N1,000,000.00 given to them by the Hon. Member of the House of Reps, representing Chibok/Damboa/Gwoza Federal Constituency; that is the source of the alleged N7,000.00 given to parents in Chibok, who were not part of the visit.
“While we acknowledge that any well intended support for our suffering population, which has lost its means of livelihood since the events of April 14 and subsequent attacks could be welcome, however, the approach that the presidency adopted has brought reproach and dishonour to our community in the eyes of the public that has supported us since the abduction of our daughters.