Freed Chibok girls reunite with parents

Freed Chibok girls reunite with parents
October 17 11:07 2016

The 21 Chibok school girls, who were released by their Boko Haram captors on Thursday, reunited with their parents at a thanksgiving service in Abuja on Sunday.

The girls and parents hugged themselves warmly for the first time in over two years at the thanksgiving service held at the Department of State Services health facility,

Gloria Dame, one of the rescued girls, who spoke about their experience on behalf of others, informed the gathering that they were left without food  for over a month.

She also said some of them narrowly escaped bomb blast.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Jummai Alhassan, and other dignitaries who attended the service, wiped their faces several times while listening to Gloria.

“I did not know that a day like this will come that we will be dancing and giving thanks to God among people.

“For one month and 10 days, we stayed without food. I narrowly escaped a bomb blast in the forest.

“We are praying to God to touch the heart of Boko Haram to repent and we are calling on Nigerians to pray and fast for the release of our remaining ones in captivity.”

The parents also addressed the congregation and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and all Nigerians for their efforts and prayers towards the rescue of their daughters.

The Chairman of the Chibok Local Government Council, Mr. Yaga Yarakawa, said the release of the girls was “historic’’ and the Chibok community at home and in the Diaspora was happy about the development.

Yarakawa said contrary to the views of some Nigerians, the 21 freed girls were the actual Chibok Secondary School girls kidnapped by Boko Haram.

“Before their abduction, I was involved in supervising their feeding which was organised by the Borno State Secondary Schools Feeding System. So, I know them very well.

“These are the real girls and you can see when their parents came, you see their joy, it manifests naturally.

“This is enough to tell you that it is a reality and anybody, who says different things or doubting, may be the person has a different agenda altogether.”

He appealed to the government to put all necessary machinery in place to ensure the release of the other girls.

Also at the ceremony, Mr. Yakubu Nkaki, the Chairman of Abducted Chibok Girls’ Parents Association, thanked the President for the release of the girls.

He said from the physical looks of the girls, it was obvious that they had not been radicalised as claimed by some people.

Nkaki also debunked the claim that many of the girls were pregnant.

Dr. Shiktra Kwali, who delivered the sermon at the service, encouraged the girls to look into their future with optimism and rededicate themselves to the service of God.