– Tears of joy flowed freely as the 21 Chibok girls were reunited with their parents
– The girls recounted tales of horror at the thanksgiving service held at the presidential villa
– Lai Mohammed the information and culture minister represented the government at the service
It was a day for tears of joy and emotion, when the 21 Chibok girls were reunited with their parents. The venue was the church at the presidential villa in Abuja on Sunday, October 16.
It was a special church thanksgiving filled with emotions, which was organised by the Nigeria government for the schoolgirls who were released on Thursday, October 13.
Lai Mohammed the information and culture minister who represented the Nigerian government was at the church during the service.
Speaking about their experiences, Miss Gloria Dame, one of the released girls who spoke on behalf of her colleagues was so happy, she was jumping for joy, as she said: “We stayed for one month without food.”
She also spoke on their narrow escapes during captivity: “I narrowly escaped bomb blast in the forest. I never knew there would be a day like this. I will give thanks to God ,’’ she said, as she went on to plead with Nigerians to pray for the girls still in captivity.
Shiktra Kwali who delivered the sermon at the interdenominational service, urged the girls not to let the experience define them or stop them from achieving their dreams.
Lai Mohammed during his speech, said that the reuniting of the girls, with their parents was the day, a lot of people have been waiting for. “It is day of joy,’’ he said.
Mr Yakubu Nkenke, the chairman of Chibok girls parents association said that the girls had eventually been identified by their parents.
While, Mr Yaya Yarakawa, the chairman of Chibok local government, confirmed the positive identification of all the 21 girls and states that only those with sinister motives would doubt the authenticity of the girls.
He also expressed satisfaction with the role played by the government, saying: “I am travelling to Abuja with all the parents of the freed girls, all of us are here.
“We are overwhelmed with joy that our girls have been found alive. I cannot talk more because we are approaching security check- points,” he said.
“I cannot put into words the pain I have been through since 2014 when I was informed of the news of the abduction of my daughter by Boko Haram t*******t.
“I cried because I felt she alongside other girls who were taken from their school in Chibok would be k****d immediately. I resigned myself to fate that I had lost a daughter all because I chose to send her to school.”
More photos from the occasion below: