Rescued 82 Chibok school girls who were under captivity with Boko Haram terrorists will for the first time set their eyes on parent next week, Minister for Women Aisha Alhassan said.
The minister said the students’ parents will travel from the remote northeastern town in Borno state to meet their daughters in the capital, Abuja.
“Any parents that identified their children will be brought next week to see them,” she told AFP at the staff quarters of the Department of State Services.
The 82 have been staying at the domestic intelligence agency facility on the outskirts of the city since their release in a prisoner swap deal on Saturday after months of negotiations.
The Islamist militants seized 276 girls in April 2014, triggering global condemnation and drawing attention to the bloody insurgency.
Fifty-seven escaped in the immediate aftermath. Of the 219 who did not manage to flee, 106 have either been released or found, leaving 113 still missing.
First Lady Aisha Buhari, whose husband President Muhammadu Buhari was elected on a pledge to defeat Boko Haram, met some of the Chibok girls on Wednesday.
The girls, dressed in colourful traditional ankara print dresses, sang songs and danced in front of the cameras.
The women’s minister said the recently-released 82 would be reunited at another facility in the capital with 24 of their classmates who were released or found last year.
They will receive “psycho-social therapy” and “vocational training” to help them reintegrate into society.
Campaign groups and families have criticised the government for keeping the previously released girls away from their parents but Alhassan said they were free to come and go from the centre.
Most chose to stay in the capital, she added.
The government’s goal is to have all the girls back in school at the start of the new academic year, she added, without specifying where.
“I believe from now to September, these other ones (the recently released 82 girls) would have stabilised and we will be able to take all of them back to school in September.”
Thousands of women and young girls have been abducted in the eight-year insurgency, which has left at least 20,000 people dead and displaced more than 2.6 million.
Information minister Lai Mohammed meanwhile indicated talks with Boko Haram about the release of the remaining 113 girls could pave the way for a possible end to the conflict.
“We are looking beyond the release of these girls. We are looking a something much more comprehensive, which is the cessation of all hostilities,” he said.
Nnamdi Kanu: Imo residents observe sit-at-home for IPOB leader’s trial
Residents of Imo State, especially Orlu town and Owerri municipal, on Tuesday, stayed indoors to observe the sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in solidarity with its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who appeared in court today.
It was gathered that the state secretariat, motor parks, schools, banks, shops and markets across the major cities were all shut down.
Even the Imo State University junction, Government House Roundabout, Control Post Roundabout, Warehouse junction Roundabout, Ikenegbu, Mbari, Douglas, Okigwe Road, and Wethedral Roads, were scanty.
In Orlu, the ever-busy Banana junction and Okwudo junction were more like ghost towns.
A journalist, Mr Martin Nwoke, in Owerri North Local Government Area of the state, made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government to release Nnamdi Kanu.
He said Imolites and the people of southeast states were the ones suffering the heat of the order.
Nwoke said, “In this part of the world, everything we do here involves money. I am begging President Buhari to pity us and free Nnamdi Kanu.”
A lawyer, Barr. Emeka Obi, told our correspondent that he could not go to file a court process due to non-availability of transport, while children, who could not go to school, resorted to playing football on the streets at Akwakuma.
Plateau monarch abducted
Barely three weeks after the kidnap of a paramount ruler in Plateau State, the military task force responsible for the maintenance of peace in the state, code-named Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), has confirmed that gunmen have abducted HRH. Da Gyang Balak Gut, the Da Gwom Rwei of Vwang District of Jos South Local Government Area of the state.
The traditional ruler was kidnapped on Sunday night on his way home to Vom, a few metres from the gate of the National Institute For Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru in Jos South LGA.
Recalls that following the abduction of the Sum Pyem, Da Charles Mato Dakat, on the 26th December, 2021, before he was released five days later, the United Mwaghavul Lawyers Association (UMLA) had described the incident as not an attack on an individual, but on the entire traditional institution in Plateau State.
The lawyers equally had said it views the kidnapping of the royal father as not an isolated incident, “but the beginning of a well-orchestrated plan to intimidate and decapitate our treasured leaders in the state and the Middle Belt at large”.
While condemning the dastardly act, on behalf of UMLA, Barr. Philemon Daffi reminded the federal, state and local governments of their shared responsibility under the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Spokesman of OPSH, Major Ishaku Takwa, who confirmed the incident, said, “Troops of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) in conjunction with other security agencies are on trail of the kidnappers.
“God’s willing, the security agencies will soon close-up on the criminals”, he maintained.
Vwang District is where the famous National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom is situated in Plateau State.
Suspected cultists arrested with female pant, charms in Delta
Police operatives attached to the Delta state police command raiders unit, have arrested twenty suspected cultists at a black spot in Ogarafe, Oghara in Ethiope west LGA of the state.
Confirming the arrest to newsmen, the spokesperson of the state police command, DSP Edafe Bright, said during the raid of the hot spot, a fabricated wooden gun, six hundred and forty-eight wraps of weed suspected to be Indian hemp, one used female pant, various charms, one Knife, Sixteen bottles of codeine, ten packs of razlers, one Grinder used in grinding weeds and the sum of sixty-nine thousand (#69,000) were recovered from the suspect.
He said the suspect will be arraigned in court soon.
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