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10 Years After Chibok Abduction, Parents Pray For Safe Return Of 92 Girls

 

Exactly 10 years after the abduction of 276 students of Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno State, former abductees, parents and relatives gathered at the multipurpose hall of the school on Sunday to pray for the safe return of 92 uncounted girls.

At the inter-faith service of prayers, speakers expressed mixed reactions following the turnout of events since 2014, central among the comments being a demand for explanation on why the remaining girls were yet to be rescued while others have regained freedom.

 

 

Chibok, located in the southern part of Borno State, is about 125km from the capital, Maiduguri at the heart of the Sambisa forest.

On this day in 2014, female students of the school in Chibok were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists and taken into Sambisa forest.

Ten years on, 179 of those students have either escaped or been released but 92 of them remain unaccounted for.

Several of the girls returned to their families as mothers, others as widows of late Boko Haram fighters while very few were lucky to return unmarried and/or without children.

Though some of the parents were delighted to see their children, regardless of their status, others continue to wonder about the fate of their daughters.

During the prayer programme, religious leaders and parents could not hold back their tears as various speakers recounted their ordeal and their efforts to get the remaining girls freed.

Some parents of the girls still in captivity were in tears while recounting their experiences to Channels Television.

Seven years after the abduction, the Borno State Government renovated, turning it into a non-boarding school. The principal of the school, Mohammed Bukar, said discussions were ongoing to revert the school to the original status of boarding for both sexes.

To ensure the safety of the school, Brigade Commander 28 Taskforce Chibok, Brigadier General Bede Amako said extra measures have been taken to secure students as well as the people of Chibok against any form of attack.

According to statistics released by parents of the abducted schoolgirls, 271 students were kidnapped on that unfortunate day but 57 girls escaped shortly in 2014, 103 were released through the intervention of the Federal Government, 20 others freed by the efforts of the state government but 92 students are still in captivity.

Kayode Oyero

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