Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Nigeria Chibok girls: Parents learning if daughters among those freed

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari met the 82 rescued Chibok girls after their release in a prisoner swap dealMore Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari met the 82 rescued Chibok girls after their release in a prisoner swap dealMore
Melinda Barton | 19 May, 2017, 06:54

I can not express in a few words how happy I am to welcome our dear girls back to freedom.

The released girls were received at the Abuja airport on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari by Alhaji Abba Kyari, his chief of staff.

Future talks between Nigeria and Boko Haram militants will extend beyond the release of the remaining Chibok girls in captivity and focus on negotiating peace in the conflict-hit northeast, according to Mustapha.

Testimony from former hostages in the brutal conflict has revealed that Boko Haram forced many women and young girls into marriage, and that rape and sexual violence were commonplace.

"However, was there abuse physically, sexual and all of that?"

"It is not true that we are not allowing the parents to see their children; we allow them access but not everyday", she told reporters.

She said before the arrival of the 82 girls, the government had been taking care of the 24 previously-released girls, and 4 babies.

He commended the efforts of security agencies and the worldwide communities involved in negotiations toward the release of the girls. Despite those that have been released, there are still 113 girls that are unaccounted for. "Majority live in villages very far from Chibok, so it will take some time before they can get to Abuja".

She was set to be part of the group of captives who were released on Saturday. The mass abduction by the militant Islamist group drew global outcry that adopted the rally cry "Bring Back Our Girls", focusing attention on the conflict with Boko Haram.

Most chose to stay in the capital, she added. After waiting so long for the return of their children, the parents of these girls must feel a great sense of relief and elation, " Tinubu said.

The United States Government on Thursday announced that it had in the last two years spent $500million (about N152billion) on humanitarian assistance to communities in North-eastern Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad.

A later statement signed by the president's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu confirmed that some Boko Haram "suspects" were released in exchange for the girls.

Reports of the disappearance of young girl students sparked worldwide outrage and a massive social media campaign led by Nigerians in which former First Lady Michele Obama took part, tweeting a picture of herself holding a placard which read #BringBackOurGirls.

"It's a much more complex situation than the abducted-rescued-victim narrative we've seen at times", she said.