•Villagers hold prayers, not sure of schoolgirls’ identities
From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
There were tension, suspense and apprehension in Chibok, Bornu State, yesterday, following the release of 82 more schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents on April 14, 2014.
Families and relations of the abducted schoolgirls went into special prayer sessions for the safe return of the remaining girls.
A relation of one of the abducted girls, Maina Chibok, told Daily Sun on phone: “Many of us families of the kidnapped girls who are Christians offered special prayers in most churches in Chibok during the Sunday service.
“The release of the 82 girls is a thing of joy but we also resolved to pray more for the remaining ones.”
He said the Chibok community was in happy mood over the news but held prayers nevertheless. He also said many of the parents are apprehensive about the identities of the freed girls.
“Many of the parents are apprehensive since they heard the news because they are not sure whether or not their daughters are among those freed. So some also prayed their daughters should be among. Some of them were just crying,” he said.
With the release of 82, some 113 girls still unaccounted for and believed to be with Boko Haram.
In October 2016, 21 of the girls out of the total 276 kidnapped by Boko Haram were released. This came months after the first release, Nkeki, while two others were later freed.
A total of 56 girls escaped from Boko Haram, a day after the abduction.
Meanwhile, the ICRC said it only acted as an intermediary between the Boko Haram and the Federal Government in the release of the 82 Chibok schoolgirls.
A statement by the organisation added that its vehicles were used to transport the freed girls to the Nigerian officials at Banki, Borno State.
The schoolgirls were first taken to a facility in the Department of State Security (DSS), where they underwent series of medical checkups in Abuja, before meeting the President.
The girls were earlier in the day received by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, when they arrived from Maiduguri in military choppers.
Kyari told said the President is “extremely pleased and glad” over their release.
“Since the first set of girls were released last year, he gave instructions to all security agencies to leave no stone unturned until all the girls are released,” he said.