Chibok Girls celebrate end of intense rehabilitation stint
The freed Chibok Girls celebrated the end of an intensive rehabilitation programme following their Boko Haram captivity, last night (Sept 13). The girls sang for government and body chiefs at the dinner in Abuja and will now head off to start a special foundation degree in Adamawa State, Nigeria.
The course, set up at American University in Yola aims to give the girls a university education, says Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Jumai Alhassan.
Kidnapped by radical Islamist group Boko Haram in April 2014 - 102 of the 276 kidnapped girls underwent medical and psychological trauma counselling over the last few months.
But many girls remain in captivity. Minister Alhassan said at the event that the government is negotiating for the release of the remaining abductees.
"The good news is that very soon I assure you that by the grace of God we will have our remaining girls released," she said. “That is to say that negotiations are still on and we will see light at the end of the tunnel and very soon we will have our remaining daughters back."
She added that while in rehabilitation the girls took part in vocational training such as decoration, baking and soap making.
Boko Haram has waged havoc across north-eastern Nigeria since 2009 and over 30,000 are said to have died since the insurgency began.
In October 2016, 21 of the kidnapped Chibok girls were released after negotiations between Boko Haram, the Nigerian government and the Red Cross. Further counter attacks led by the Nigerian government have reportedly pushed insurgents from territory they once controlled.
More negotiations secured the release of 82 in May 2017.