Festus Akanbi with agency report
Some of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram nearly seven years ago have finally escaped from their captors, a father of one of the girls told CNN yesterday.
Halima Ali Maiyanga, one of more than 100 young women still missing, called her father to say she and others had managed to flee Boko Haram militants Thursday.
“She asked me. Is this my daddy? Is this my daddy, and she started crying. The crying was (so) much and I couldn’t hear her very well. I was crying too. I never expected to hear from her again,” Ali Maiyanga said.
“The whole family is so happy. Our house is full of people who are rejoicing with us.”
Ali Maiyanga said he didn’t get a chance to speak to his daughter properly, as she was emotional and the call was short. But he said she and others were safe and being looked after by the Nigerian Army.
He added that she was calling from a phone line belonging to a security official.
Those who managed to escape are believed to be in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, although there are still few details known about how they fled.
CNN has reached out to the Nigerian Army for official confirmation. It is not yet clear how many of the remaining missing girls have managed to escape.
In 2014, militants stormed a boarding school in the Nigerian village of Chibok and kidnapped 276 girls — an incident which gained widespread attention and sparked an international campaign advocating for their release with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.
Dozens of girls escaped almost immediately after the mass abduction. Another girl was found in May 2016 when she wandered out of a Nigerian forest asking for help, according to witnesses.
Boko Haram released 21 girls to the Nigerian Government after negotiations in 2016. Then 82 more girls were freed in a prisoner swap between the terrorist group and the government in the capital city of Abuja in 2017.
Since then, nothing had been heard of the 112 young women remaining in custody.”
Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from Chibok town, Borno State, which sparked an international outcry in 2014.
The federal government in 2015, secured the release of 82 of the abducted girls.
A former minister, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, had on Thursday said she hoped that the rumored freedom of the remaining abducted girls was true.
“Yes, we have heard the rumors about our remaining #112ChibokGirls,” Ezekwesili, co-founder of the Bring Back Our Girls movement, tweeted.
“Dear Lord, please let it be true that they have been released
“No child, no parent, no one deserves what the #ChibokFamilies have been through in this country at the hands of Boko Haram,” she concluded.