The Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) in collaboration with African Support and Empowerment Initiative(AFRISEI) have launched an endowment fund in support of the 21 Chibok schoolgirls released by the Boko Haram sect.
Speaking during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the endowment fund, the national commandant of the PCN, Dr Dickson Akoh, revealed that the PCN had already contributed the sum of N3.5m to the fund which would facilitate the rehabilitation and reintegration of the 21 Chibok schoolgirls who were released last week by the Boko Haram sect.
Akoh, who stated that the endowment fund was aimed at restoring hope to the girls, who had undergone a lot of trauma in the hands of the Boko Haram sect, added that rehabilitation of the girls should not be left to government alone.
He added that the money realised would be used judiciously adding, “we have only one person as a signatory to the account. The president of AFRISEI is the principal signatory and the other signatory will be the Chibok family. Whenever they need anything, they will withdraw. We will have a member of the Chibok community or the #BringBackOurGirls group, it will be tailored towards the welfare of the Chibok girls.
“We are convinced that the federal government needs more support now more than ever before, following the recent release of of 21 of the abducted girls whose rehabilitation an reintegration into the society is very essential which we are of the opinion that, it should not be left for the government alone but be supported by all and sundry,” he said.
Also speaking, the President of AFRISEI, Hajiya Hadiza Bello stated was willingly to support the Federal government in rehabilating the girls with the support of the Peace Corps adding that the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria has pledged it’s support to carry out free medical test on Hepatitis B and C, HIV, malaria and sugar level on the girls.
Meanwhile, the #BBOG group, in a statement signed by the leaders of the group, Dr Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu stated that it was not a party to the launch of the endowment fund and have absolutely no information of its origin.
“We are shocked, perplexed and completely dumbfounded to see the bold inscription of our hard-earned name, #BringBackOurGirls, on the event’s backdrop. We state categorically that we are not party to the said event and have absolutely no information of its origin. We urge the general public to disregard attempts at linking our movement to this highly suspicious event,” it said.
”Together with our lawyers, Femi Falana & Co., we are considering a response to this attempt to smear our movement. We call on the general public and law enforcement agencies to be on the look-out for unscrupulous persons who may already be/are planning similar nefarious acts to deceive the local and international community, “ it said.