OF DR. (MRS.) MERCY JUMMAI SOKOMBA, THE DIRECTOR GENERAL, CENTER FOR PROMOTION OF ETHICS VALUES AND NATIONAL INTEGRATION/NATIONAL COORDINATOR REHABILITATION AND REINTEGRATION OUTREACH MISSION ON THE OCCASION OF A PRESS BRIEFING ON #BRING BACK OUR GIRLS: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THEIR RETURN ON 28TH MAY, 2014
Good morning Gentlemen of the Press, ladies and gentlemen and our dear guests and sisters from Borno State.
Today, 28th May marks the 43rd day since over two hundred (200+) girls were abducted from a government Secondary School in Chibok while they had gone to sit for an examination that will help shape their future and provide them with opportunities to achieve their dreams and goals. This life advancement effort they went for is the dream of most Nigerian children. The dream of not only the ability to read and write but to pass their Senior Secondary School / WAEC etc Examinations so that they can get into the university or other tertiary education institutions of their choices and become empowered women and leaders in the future.
Among the abducted girls are definitely future mothers, Leaders of their community representing their community at various levels – from Local Government to the Federal Level in all possible elective and appointive positions. But suddenly terror struck on the night of April 14, 2014, over 200 of the girls were abducted in the most daring abduction/kidnapping exercise that the world has ever witnessed in this magnitude. This is the most unethical, unpatriotic and deviant behavior ever displayed in the world by men who have lost or never imbibed family, individual, community or national values or respect for Human Rights or right to life and freedom of association etc. Since the unpleasant event parents and families of the victims, security agencies, Nigerians from all works of life, States, Local Governments, even opposing Politicians/Political Parties and the caring world at large have lost their sleep as well. Protesters on #BRING BACK OUR GIRLS have since taken to the streets daily reminding our Security agencies, government and the dreaded BOKO HARAM who are the master minders to act speedily by bringing our girls back and alive. Victims are innocent of whatever the grouse of Boko Haram is.
The Federal and Borno State Governments are working round the clock along with some international communities (e.g. USA, Britain, China, Israel and African countries) are “on top of the situation”. BUT days have dragged into weeks, weeks now into months yet SAMBISA Forest remains unconquered. The “top of it” is still very hazy and far away. By the grace and mercy of God and the fervent prayers and fasting programmes of Nigerians, SAMBISA or where ever they are will be conquered by patriotic and gallant soldiers who believe in the sanctity of life, patriotism and indivisibility of Nigeria and our girls brought back so that the on-going horror, nightmare, blood shedding especially in the North Eastern Axis of Nigeria where terrorism is being launched on our people, youths, women, girl-child and innocent communities on a daily basis will be brought to an end.
Our hearts and prayers go out to all the Parents/families of the Chibok Girls over the definite psychological trauma and nightmare they are going through and we believe in God’s Miracle and deliverance of the girls from the hands of their abductors.
PURPOSE OF THE PRESS BRIEFING
Gentlemen of the Press, you are invited this 28th Day of May, 2014 Press Briefing to be informed as well as to pass the information to the public that we are confident that the girls will come back. We join all the voices calling for their safe return using various strategies especially daily Marches and vigils. However, we have gone ahead to prepare for their return. Consequently, The Center For Promotion of Ethics Values and National Integration in our ongoing partnership with the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values and in collaboration with some NGOs – Zee Karatu, League of Women Democrats, Grassroots Movement Group, SAISY’S Home and After School Hours/ Crayola, Pavonia International, Professional bodies in Health, Psychology, Security, Entrepreneurship, Education etc. have put together a Rehabilitation and Re-integration Outreach Mission which will be based in Chibok preparatory to the reception of the girls.
All attention at the moment is focused on the safe return of our girls, alive and well! That is not negotiable. However, we are not ignorant of the psychological trauma this long separation from their parents, relations and communities that will be daily bugging the minds of the victims. Beyond the local and global daily protests and matches, beyond the professional search by our gallant security forces and international assistance, our concern is what happens when they are released and returned? And indeed they will be released and returned
Our fears and concerns for the psychological trauma the girls are going through are weightier than the abduction. Questions that motivated the setting up of the Professional/ Technical Mission team include the form /type of rehabilitation and integration plan to have on ground at the following levels:
With their parents, siblings and extended family members;
With the community and society at large, With their peers,
continuation of their education, alternative education/ skills acquisition etc.
Tagged REHABILITATION AND REINTEGRATION OUTREACH MISSION we are considering the following multi-disciplinary approaches:
Setting up a Professional / Multi-Disciplinary Committee to train as many Volunteers, youths especially the National Youth Vanguards on Ethics and Values and other youth groups. This first set of training is train-the trainers. The trainers include Psychologists, Trauma experts, Counselors, entrepreneurs for acquisition of skills/ Alternative Education Strategies, Interfaith Mediators, Criminologists, NEMA and security agencies etc.
The trainers will train members of the Chibok Community through town hall meetings etc.
This is a continuous exercise for a minimum of six months with similar plans for all the flash points and troubled spots in the North east and elsewhere where whole families are wiped out, children made orphans, women turned into widows and men into widowers. All these are of grave traumatic consequences
Our Programme Content for the Rehabilitation and Re-integration Outreach Mission include the following in addition to other areas being worked on:
Trauma and Psychology
Basic Security Training
Inter-Faith Counseling Programmes
Entrepreneurship and Skills Development
Education which includes continuing education and Alternative Education Strategies
We invite as many volunteers-individuals and organizations to register with us at our Programme Office. Register to contribute your suggestions, service and assistance where necessary:
The National Project Coordinator,
Center For Promotion of Ethics Values and National Integration,
Suite 12, Asokoro Shopping Mall/Offices,
T. Y. Danjuma Street, Asokoro Abuja.
Tel No: 07057760439
Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values,
Gentlemen of the Press, Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for participating in this Press Briefing and please keep the prayers on for the safe return of our girls.
Dr. (Mrs.) Mercy Jummai Sokomba,
Director General/National Coordinator