Monday, September 20, 2021

Kidnapped schoolgirl comes home after 7 years with husband and two kids

Mass kidnappings remain a problem in northern Nigeria, with hundreds of pupils snatched this year alone.

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One of the Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Islamist militants Boko Haram from the town of Chibok in 2014 has been freed and reunited with her family.

Security and government officials initiated contact with her parents to confirm her identity.

Ruth Ngladar Pogu, a Chibok girl who was in Boko Haram captivity for seven years, has now returned home with two children she had for a member of the terrorist group, who was with her, Nigerian news outlets are reporting.

Ruth and her husband surrendered to Nigerian troops on July 28 at a location in Bama, Borno State, according to officials.

Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum, who confirmed the return of the girl, said her presence would rekindle the hope of parents and other family members of Chibok girls still in captivity, according to Core Nigeria.

The governor received Ruth at the Government House on Saturday where she reunited with her parents.

“I am extremely excited both as Borno’s governor and father of all sons and daughters of the state and also as a father to daughters” he told reporters. “I know the feeling of families of those still under captivity but we have to remain hopeful especially with today’s development.”

Zulum urged the families of those whose daughters were still in captivity to remain optimistic and prayerful.

Nearly 300 schoolgirls were, on April 14, 2014, abducted when Boko Haram terrorists stormed the Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok in north-eastern Borno state.

Of the girls first kidnapped, some managed to escape shortly after they were seized, while several were exchanged for other Boko Haram militants.

Over 100 of them have since been freed or managed to escape. Several have been rescued by security forces, but the rest are still missing without trace in the forests, even after seven years.

Zulum also stated that the girl would undergo a rehabilitation and reintegration programme focusing on her health, psychosocial wellbeing and her future goals.

Mass kidnappings remain a problem in northern Nigeria, with hundreds of pupils snatched this year alone, some by Islamic groups such as Boko Haram but most by marauding criminal gangs for ransom.

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