Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, on Sunday described the last one week as the worst days of his life as two more girls escaped from the den of Boko Haram abductors, who kidnapped no fewer than 200 schoolgirls in the state last week .
Shettima, in his Easter message by his spokesman, Alhaji Isa Gusau, said he hardly slept since he heard about the abduction.
He said he had been eager to hear about and equally strategise the release of the children.
The governor said though he had witnessed very dark days of insurgency inherited by his administration, none of the attacks had been more troubling for him as much as the last one week when young girls from his domain were abducted by deadly insurgents and held captive in a forest.
Shettima said, “I have seen very serious moments since I became the Governor of Borno State in 2011 at a period of insurgent crisis. I have seen many innocent lives lost for no reason and I mourn every life lost with empathy and high sense of responsibility. But the last one week has been my worst days as a governor and even the worst in my life. I am troubled as a father, as a leader and as a politician.
“First, as a father, any time my young daughter comes around me in the last one week at the Government House, my heart beats very fast, my heart becomes so heavy and I develop serious headache because when I look into the eyes of my young daughter, I wonder how the parents of these our students feel when faced with the harsh reality that their loving daughters are either in the hands of abductors in fear and desperation for freedom or wondering somewhere looking for safety while parents do not know the status of their children.”
The governor added, “I took a sympathetic note of one particular parent, who reportedly said he preferred seeing his daughter’s corpse than the trauma of having her abducted. It is my very strong hope that all the students will come out of abduction safely. But as a father to a girl child, I know exactly what is currently troubling the minds of parents and relations who are yet to see their children.
“I am deeply pained and I very much share the agonies of parents. More than everyone, as the leader, on whose area of governance this unfortunate incident took place, I am very anxious to have our daughters freed because I know very well that the most important obligation of any government -be it at the federal, state or local government level- is to ensure the safety and welfare of its good citizens.