The Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, on Saturday in Maiduguri, received Ruth Pogu, one of the over 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents seven years ago at the Government Secondary School Chibok.
The Chibok girl returned with two children, which she gave birth to while in the captivity of the insurgents.
Ruth, alongside someone she was said to have married while her captivity, surrendered themselves to the Nigerian military on July 28, 2021, at a location in Bama.
Under Zulum’s supervision, security and government officials kept the development secret and used the last 10 days to contact her parents and the association of parents of the missing schoolgirls in order to ascertain her identity.
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Zulum’s spokesman, Mallam Isa Gusau, said the governor received the Chibok girl at the Government House in the presence of overwhelmed parents who reunited with her.
An excited Zulum said reuniting Ruth with her family was a boost to keeping the hopes of parents, other family members and the Borno State Government alive that others still in captivity, would be safely found and in good health.
The governor said the state would undertake a rehabilitation and reintegration programme that would focus on Ruth’s health, psychosocial well-being and her chosen path to a productive future, all of which will be determined by her.
The governor commiserated with families of those still in captivity and urged them to remain optimistic, prayerful and cooperative with security agencies should they be required for any measure.
“I am extremely excited both as Borno’s governor and father of all sons and daughters of the state, and also as a father to daughters. I know the feeling of families of those still under captivity but we have to remain hopeful especially with today’s development.”
The Chairman of the Chibok Girls Movement, an association of all affected parents, Yakubu Keki, expressed joy over the Ruth’s return. He said the people of Chibok appreciated the efforts of security agencies.