A report by Daily Trust claims that famous abducted schoolgirls from Chibok in Borneo state were sighted somewhere in the infamous Sambisa forest.
Almost six years after, a sizeable number of the famous Chibok schoolgirls abducted from a school in Borno State have been sighted at the Sambisa forest.
About 276 girls were forcefully taken away from their dormitories at Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno State, by Boko Haram fighters loyal to Abubakar Shekau in April 2014. A girl, who was abducted 11 months ago but regained her freedom on Sunday, February 2, 2020, told one of our correspondents that she saw some of the Chibok girls in Sambisa forest recently.
Today marks the 2,125th day of the Chibok girls in captivity, and their sixth year away from home will be coming up two months from now – precisely on April 14.
The girls were some of the highly-priced captives held by the Shekau faction over the years. On the night of the abduction, 57 girls managed to jump from the trucks in which they were being transported while the remaining 219 were driven into the Sambisa forest. Some of them have been recovered through negotiations; few died due to various reasons including ill health, about nine were killed by a bomb that shelled where they were kept while over 100 are reportedly still in the hands of their abductors. Over the years, the girls had been moved to different locations including the Mandara Mountains and Gwoza hills bordering neighbouring Cameroon in Borno and Adamawa states. Of recent, stories of the missing girls rarely hit the headlines except during the anniversary of their abduction.
Fresh insight on Chibok schoolgirls
An insight into the whereabouts of the Chibok girls came to the fore yesterday. “I saw some of the girls,” said Stella Ibrahim, 18 years old, who was abducted on March 13, 2019, and regained her freedom on Sunday. “I met some of the Chibok girls at the Sambisa forest,” she said during an interview in Maiduguri. One of those who negotiated the release of Stella said some of the Chibok girls were ready to go back home and that Shekau was also ready for fresh negotiations to actualize their release. But the source did not give details of the conditions forwarded by Shekau, the leader of the factional extremist group. “I would need clearance from both ends to speak on this sensitive matter so as not to jeopardize the whole process,” the source said. “What I can assure you is that the Shekau faction is ready for negotiations and willing to allow some of the girls to get reunited with their families. “There is still hope for the release of those girls willing to come back if the government takes advantage of the opportunity and rescues them now,” the source said.
Not all Chibok girls want to return
According to the source, “We are in talks with them (Boko Haram) over the Chibok girls; I know many of them are still alive and healthy and some of them are willing to come back. “Now they have opened doors for negotiations; so this is a unique opportunity for the federal government to secure the release of those girls that are willing to come back home,” the source said. The source, however, noted: “Unfortunately, some of the girls might not be coming back, especially those that have been married off to the high ranking commanders. “But of course there are some who are not married or those whose husbands have been killed in the battlefront and refused to be re-married – they are the ones that are willing to come back. “Those still married to the commanders were not given any option; meaning they will not come back,” the source said.
Parents in Chibok excited over “proof of life”
Some parents of the missing Chibok girls have expressed delight that their daughters are still alive. Speaking on phone, one of them, Mr Joshua Bulum, said the news that some of the girls are still alive is a glad tiding. “God has answered my prayers,” he said. “I never gave off that my daughter Ruth Wadi will one day return. Her mother has been praying, she has been crying all these years and we all can’t wait to receive our daughter. We pray the federal government will use the window available to secure the release of all the Chibok girls,” he said. Ayuba Alamson, whose sister Hadiza Kwagi was one of the 57 girls that escaped on the night of the abduction in Chibok, said they were optimistic many of the girls will return. “We know some of them have died, this is certain but the Chibok community has been praying all these years. We want our daughters back. We are not bothered whether they have children or whatever, we want them back,” he said. Mama Rebecca whose daughter, Sarah Samuel, is also missing, said, “We are helpless. It is not easy. Life has not been fair to us since our daughters were abducted. Life without them is difficult but the grace of God kept us going,” she said. Mohammed Yahaya whose daughter Ya’na Pogu is also in the hands of the Boko Haram, said, “We are waiting for our daughters to come back. What is important to us is to see them; we are suffering as a result of their absence. I am appealing to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to make all effort to secure the release of our daughters,” he said.
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