Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Can Nigeria's Chibok girls ever be truly free?

Can Nigeria's Chibok girls ever be truly free?

Dozens of girls have managed to escape after Boko Haram kidnapped them from Chibok, Nigeria in 2014, but there were still more than 200 who were missing for more than two years.

Tsambido said some politicians from Borno State were allowed to see the girls, who are now in the custody of the Department of State Services, lamenting that Chibok leaders, resident in Abuja, were denied access to the girls.

The release of the 82 girls followed negotiations led by the Nigerian government; the Swiss government also participated, while the Red Cross provided transportation for the freed girls.

A group of United Nations human rights experts on Tuesday called on Nigeria's government to ensure the girls' rehabilitation and reintegration, saying release was only a first step in their recovery.

"The Nigerian army is happy with the safe return of the girls".

The girls are now in the capital Abuja being looked after by government officials as they try to adjust back into society.

Speaking earlier, Lillian Cosmos, FCT coordinator, Africa Arise for Change Network, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for keeping to his promise and facilitating the freedom of the girls.

Garba Shehu said: "One of the girls refused to join the released girls".

"I believe in God and I trust in God that one day they will be released", Rebecca Yaga said and her long held belief appears to have paid as she said "I see now they begin their coming out now".

"Since the PDP failed - as it did in everything - to rescue even one of the Chibok girls, the party should hold its peace while this administration continues to seek the release of all the abducted girls, using every means at its disposal, in addition to working assiduously to end all Boko Haram hostilities". Numerous girls who were held captive were forced to marry their captors and birth children in remote hideouts without ever knowing if they would see their parents again.

She added. "I hope and pray that my daughter is among these released girls".

"When they get the pictures, they see them and verify, then they come on board to Abuja to see their daughters". "She indicated that she wanted to go home", said Alhassan.

Thousands of women and young girls have been abducted in the eight-year insurgency, which has left at least 20,000 people dead and displaced more than 2.6 million. He also promised that "the Presidency will personally supervise the performance of those entrusted with your welfare and commitments made by the Federal Government on your health, education, security and general well-being".

Mrs Buhari also advised the girls to let go of the past and acquire skills to be self-reliant for the future.

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