Posted by News Express | 14 October 2016 | 3,018 times
Thirty months in Boko Haram captivity, 21 girls breathed the air of freedom yesterday after they were seized from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State. Most of the Chibok girls, as they are called, returned pregnant, while others are already mothers.
About 276 girls were abducted from their dormitory in the night of April 14, 2014.
The girls’ release was a product of negotiation involving the Federal Government, Swiss authorities, the International Red Cross Society and Boko Haram representatives. The girls were addressed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at Aso Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
The insurgents had earlier demanded the release of members held by the government, as a condition for freeing the girls.
Meanwhile, about 19 parents of the girls will never see their daughters again.
Last year, a village near Chibok was under siege from Boko Haram. Seven fathers of the kidnapped girls were among 51 bodies taken to Chibok hospital after an attack on the nearby village of Kautakari, said a health worker who declined to be named for fear of reprisals.
Community leader, Pogu Bitrus, also said at least, four more parents have died of heart failure, high blood pressure and other illnesses.
“One father of two of the girls kidnapped just went into coma and kept repeating the names of his daughters, until life left him,” said Bitrus.
In May 2016, Ayama Pogu, a retired Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) said his wife died as a result of the emotional trauma she suffered following the abduction of their daughter, Margaret. Pogu said although he was optimistic about reuniting with his daughter, some of the abducted girls might never be rescued. “Even if the children were to return, I am of the view that not all of them will come back in one piece,” Pogu said.
Just last month, a member of Kibaku Area Development Association (KADA), Chibok, Borno State, Dr. Allen Manasseh, said yesterday in Abuja that four of the 19 parents were killed by the terrorists in subsequent attacks that occurred after the abduction of the girls.
He said the remaining 15, including Mrs. Paul Lalai, whose twin daughters were among the abducted girls, died of trauma. “Yes, 19 of the parents have died since the abduction of the girls,” he said.
•Excerpted from a Daily Sun report. Photo courtesy of Daily Trust shows Vice President Yemi Osinbajo interacting with the released Chibok girls at Aso Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
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