Twenty one school girls from Chibok who were released by the Nigerian group Boko Haram after they were detained for more than two years returned to their families on Sunday in Abuja and recounted the difficult circumstances of their detention.
During a religious ceremony held in their honour, one of the girls named Gloria Gloria Dame said that they had survived for 40 days without food and that a bomb dropped near them nearly hurt them. She said: “I was in the woods when the plane dropped a bomb near me but I wasn’t hurt” and that ““We had no food for one month and 10 days but we did not die. We thank God.”
Dame recounted her story at a Christian religious ceremony organised by the Nigerian security forces that were behind their release after negotiations with Boko Haram militants. After the young women, most of whom were Christians, were abducted, they were forced to convert to Islam.
The ceremony was suddenly interrupted with the arrival of the families of the young girls who were abducted in April 2014 and the ensuing hugs and tears. In his concluding speech, the Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed said “We can all see the emotions of the families and their happiness”. He added that “negotiations with Boko Haram are not over until all the girls are released”, and explained that “negotiations are still ongoing as we talk. Many other young women will be freed soon”.