- A gender-specific organisation known as Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), has spoken on the welfare of some rescued rescued Chibok girls
- Mairo Mandara, a speaker at the WIMBIZ's recent summit said that some of the girls are now graduates in foreign universities
- Mandara challenged women to take on leadership positions both in public and private sectors
Mairo Mandara, a speaker at the Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ) summit in Abuja, has disclosed that some of the rescued Chibok schoolgirls in Borno were taken through intensive school classes and thereafter sat for the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Mandara, a former country director of the bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, added that four of the girls are now undergraduates in a university overseas, Punch reports.
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Speaking at the WIMBIZ summit on Thursday, September 27, Mandara stated that the Chibok schoolgirls could neither read nor write after their captivity and had to be taken back to school.
She further said that health indices such as maternal and child mortality, as well as immunisation, were directly dependent on the education of women.
Mandara said: “We graduated about 75 girls from our scholarship scheme last year. Nearly two-thirds of them were the escaped Chibok schoolgirls that everybody was abusing the government that they didn’t know where those girls were.
"They were with us; we just kept quiet about them. They had been abducted when they were writing their secondary school examination. But when we took them over, they could neither read nor write.
“We now took them back to secondary school, created a special class for them and really taught them how to read and write. This book – the Queen Primer – was used to teach them and they had to repeat school.
"But after then, they sat for and passed their WASSCE and their Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination. Apart from the Chibok schoolgirls, there were some other 25 girls who were from the Jos, Plateau State’s communal crisis. Four of all these girls are now undergraduates in a university overseas.”
The speaker advocated more education for women, noting that statistics showed educated women did not have issues with health and proper living.
She said: “When I went for my residency programme as a doctor, I came across issues that were particularly related to inequality and social injustice. I saw severe acute malnutrition. I saw young girls at the ages of 13 and 14 being pregnant. I saw infant and maternal mortalities.
“As I saw these things, I was no longer contented and I, therefore, moved into public health where I would be able to stop women from coming to the hospitals with these issues.
"I came to a discovery that a lot of the poor health indicators, maternal and child mortality, immunisation and everything you can think of about the health of a woman and the children are directly dependent on the education of the woman.”
Olubunmi Aboderin-Talabi, the chairperson of WIMBIZ executive council, urged women to aim for success at all times and make efforts to take leadership positions.
Aboderin-Talabi, who is also the publisher of Clever Clogs Books, said: “I know someone who wherever she goes or whoever she meets, she would always smile and say good morning whether she knows them or not. And then one day, I asked her, why do you do that?
"And she said, ‘It is because you never know whether that person may be suicidal or sad and just by being friendly, you could turn things around for them.’ I want us to borrow from that principle.”
Another speaker at the summit, a former minister of water resources, Sarah Ochekpe, stated that females in high public and private sector offices should not allow their gender to stand in the way of quality and successful leadership.
Ochekpe said: “My appointment as a minister came as a result of the fact that the government had promised to meet the 35 per cent requirement for women in leadership.
"Now in that office, I worked with several men but I never spared any wrongdoing either from men or women.
"I went by the books and the rules. Some men had to resign forcefully while others went through the queries and discipline. The office gave me the authority to exercise and I didn’t allow anyone to disrespect that authority.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that Mayinta Modu, a suspected Boko Haram commander, had confessed that he received N30, 000 as payment for coordinating and participating in the abduction of Chibok schoolgirls.
Modu said this in an interview with some newsmen on Thursday, July 19, at the Borno state police command, Maiduguri.
Survivors of Boko Haram - On Legit.ng TV