So far, the security agencies have been unsuccessful in rescuing them, even as the war against insurgency rages. Some of the girls managed to escape from the den of their captors while majority of them are still languishing there and far away from their families.
As the year comes to an end, the Wife of the Osun State Governor, Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola remembered the girls when she played host to hundreds of children from across the 30 local government councils of the state during an event marking the end of the year children party.
Mrs. Aregbesola who dedicated the event to these girls languishing in the hands of their abductors said all hope is not yet lost for their release and called on the entire Nigerians not to relent in their efforts to continue praying for the release of these innocent girls and peace in the country.
While lamenting that the girls had been separated from their families for a very long time, Mrs. Aregbesola who celebrated the event with the children in low key as part of efforts honouring the kidnapped girls, said “it is not impossible for God Almighty through our prayers to release the girls.
According to her, “although we are celebrating here today, let us individually pray for the children who are at the moment denied the comfort of their families. These are the Chibok girls who have been kidnapped and are yet to be released for a long time now. We should pray for their safe release and peace in our nation.
Also at the event were physically challenged people, children from special schools, selected children from public schools in the state, children from across the 30 local government councils and Modakeke Area Office, religious leaders, parents and guardians as well as market women among others.
There was dance competition for the well-dressed children, quiz competition and other things to make the event memorable for the kids. The event was organized by the office of the Wife of the Governor in conjunction with the State Ministry of Women and Children Affairs.
The wife of the Governor also admonished parents to continue to improve on the care and attention being given to their children adding that “we should ensure that we see to their good health and happiness at all times.
“We should also train them to inculcate the virtues and the culture of our people. Most importantly, I urge you to make the education of our children a top priority. There is no excuse for any child not to go to school any longer in the State of Osun given the comprehensive free education policy of the state government. We should understand that education paves way for better living standard in the world.
Speaking on the essence of organizing the programme, Mrs. Aregbesola said “bringing together our children from different socio-economic background on occasions such as this would further inculcate in them high sense of belonging.
“It would oil the spirit of unity and enhance peace and joy in our state. I wish to use this opportunity to plead with our parents and guardians to continue to improve on the care and attention being given to the children.
“As you know, it is our tradition in the State of Osun to celebrate our people, especially our children regularly. The philosophy behind this is very simple. Government is about the people and a responsible government would always make people the centre of attention at all times. Here in the state, our administration places the highest priority on the welfare and happiness of our people. We believe that this is the only way we can truly say we have a democracy.
Mrs. Aregbesola charged the children to be good to their parents and elderly ones in the society. She also enjoined them to refrain from all kind of misbehaviour that could negatively affect the society.
“Just as our parents have crucial role to play in the life of our children, we as children also have our duties and responsibilities. Every child has the responsibility to be good child to his or her family and to the society at large. You should respect your parents, teachers, leaders, and the elderly in our society. I also urge you to refrain from all kinds of misbehaviours that could negatively affect the society. You should grow up as true citizens who come from a state that enthrones the virtues of Omoluabi.
Governor Rauf Aregebsola while speaking at the event noted that 2014 edition of children party is unique that it was the festive period when he secure second term in office assuring the people of the state that the state will witness more developmental projects and dividends of democracy more than before.
While expressing appreciation to the people of the state especially the youths for their support to his administration during the electioneering period, Governor Aregbesola maintained that “your support signifies that you appreciate this administration through its people oriented programmes and projects being executed.
Governor Aregbesola who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Moshood Adeoti assured that his administration will give good and qualitative education to children adding that the administration has built over 100 new modern schools across the state.
He urged children in the state to desist from violence and act of thuggery which he said is on the increase in schools in the state.
In her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Mrs. Adebimpe Ogunlumade said that the occasion has afforded children from different socio-economic background to come together and interact with one another in order to enjoy the festive period.
The programme was attended by wife of the Speaker, Mrs. Sallam, wife of the SSG, Alhaja Adeoti, wives of the members of the State Assembly, wife of the chairman of APC, Mrs. Famodun, wife of Chief of Staff to the Governor among others.