Mon, Oct 02, 2023

FG finally made good its promise to reunite freed Chibok school girls with parents

FG finally made good its promise to reunite freed Chibok school girls with parents

The federal government has finally fulfilled its promise to reunite all the freed Chibok school girls with their families.

Emotions, tears, huggings, dominated the reunion on Saturday in Abuja as fathers gripped their daughters in tight embrace, while mothers were overwhelmed with joy, wiping away tears streaming from their eyes.

In one scene, captured by the cameras, both the parents, along with one of the girls, burst out in tears of joy.

They hadn’t seen each other since April 14, 2014, when Boko Haram militants  snatched  270 schoolgirls from their dormitories in Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno state.

“I’m feeling very happy, I was dancing with her, she’s very happy,” said Yakubu Nkeki, whose niece Maimuna who he had raised as his own child, was among the girls.

“Everyone was dancing today, even the old ones, everyone was dancing,” Nkeki told AFP.

“All of us had lost hope, we thought the girls would not be returned.”

Nkeki, who represents the Chibok parents, said that they would attend a church service with the girls on Sunday, before returning home early next week.

In the meantime the girls would stay in a government facility in Abuja where they are receiving therapy and vocational training.

Nigeria’s Minister for Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan has said that the government’s goal is to have all the rescued Chibok girls back in school by September.

The group of 82 girls was released in May in exchange for five Boko Haram commanders following months of negotiations brokered by the Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Twenty-one of their classmates were freed in October last year, while three others had previously been found or escaped.

The federal government has said it is still in talks to release the remaining 113 girls in captivity.

In a statement, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed,said the group of 82 girls had  also been reunited with 24 others, who were rescued by the federal government last year.

So far,  106 Chibok school girls, out of the 219 captured on the night of April 14, 2014, have been rescued.



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