During an attack of Kautakari village earlier this month, 51 people were killed; locals have now confirmed that seven of those killed were parents of the girls who were kidnapped from a Chibok school on April 14. Four more parents of the girls have died from illness induced by stress, including heart failure and high blood pressure.
Community leader Pogu Bitrus said that one father “went into a kind of coma and kept repeating the names of his daughters, until life left him.”
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan met with 177 parents of the girls on July 22, ensuring the beleaguered parents that the government was determined to bring their daughters home.
Reuban Abati, a spokesman for Jonathan said, “Mr. President reassured them [the parents] of the federal government determination and his personal determination to ensure that the girls that are still in captivity are brought out alive. He made it clear that is the main objective of the government.”
Jonathan has been harshly criticized for failing to act quickly with the kidnapping, allowing time for the militants to possibly move some of the girls to Cameroon and Chad. 219 girls are still missing; many girls are believed to be held in the Sambisa Forest.
Publication date: July 25, 2014