The 21 released Chibok Girls have told of their experiences in the hands of deadly Boko Haram members after they were released.
It was all tears as the 21 released Chibok girls reunited with their families
It was tears as the 21 released Chibok Girls reunited with their parents yesterday at a thanksgiving service held at the Directorate of State Services (DSS) facility in Abuja, where the girls have been kept since last Thursday when they returned.
The girls spoke about their ordeal in the hands of the Boko Haram terrorists and how they lost hope of ever returning to their families.
Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Women Affairs Hajiya Jummai Alhassan, Chairman of Chibok Local Government Council, Mr Yaga Yarakawa, Chairman of Abducted Chibok Girls’ Parents Association, Mr Yakubu Nkaki, and a member of the Chibok community in Abuja, Mr Hosea Tsambido, attended the service.
Gloria Dame, who spoke on behalf of the girls after the service, recollected how they went without food for “one month and 10 days’’ in the bush.
Speaking in Hausa, Gloria, who is Number 139 on the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement’s list of abducted girls, said their survival in captivity was an act of God.
“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 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,’’ she said.
While the service was going on, the parents of the freed girls arrived at the venue and were reunited with their loved ones after two and a half years with their abductors.
As soon as they arrived, emotions took over as tears of joy rolled down the eyes of parents and girls.
At the meeting, the parents of one of the girls spoke of their excitement at seeing their daughter.
"When we heard they found some of the girls, and that our daughter was among them, we slept as if the day is not going to break," Muta Abana, a father of one of the Chibok girls, told The Associated Press news agency.
"We wanted the day to break quickly, to see if the government is going to call us, to come and see that our daughter was among them."
Hawa Abana, the mother, said that Boko Haram abducted her daughter and hundreds of other schoolgirls, because "they did not want them to succeed in life".
"By God's grace she is back," she said. "She will go back to school. Boko Haram has no power again."
The Chairman of the Parents of the Abducted Chibok School Girls, Yakubu Nkeki, re-echoed the Minister’s plea by appealing to the people to stop spreading rumours, particularly on the social media, that will put the lives of the girls at risk.