Nigeria: Rescued Chibok Girls Cry Out – ‘We Want to Return to School’

Thirteen of the rescued/escapee Chibok girls, now all mothers, have begged both the federal and Borno State governments to take them back to school like their colleagues, who they said had completed their education abroad.

This came yesterday as authorities of 7 Division, Nigerian Army, which is part of the Theatre Command, Operation Hadin Kai, said there had been no cases of forced pregnancy termination, either from abducted girls/women of Boko Haram terrorists, or those who had been surrendering to troops.

The Chibok girls, currently housed at the Bulunkutu Interim Care Centre in Maiduguri, include Halima Ali, number 48 on the list, who has a child; Maryam Dauda, 26, with two children; Hauwa Joseph, 25, with a child; Kauna Luka, 25, with three children, and Hanatu Musa, 25, with two children.

Others are Hassana Adamu, 25, with three children; Ruth Bitrus, 26, with two children; Falmata Lawal, 25;, Asabe Ali; Jinkaya Yama, 26years, with three children; Iyagana Pogu, Rejoice Senki, 24, with two children; Ruth Ngalada, 25, with one child.

The 14th Chibok girl who was out of the facility during the visit, Aisha Grema, was said to have just delivered a baby and was with her parents.

Speaking with Vanguard, three of the Chibok girls, including Ruth Ngalada, Maryam Dauda and Hassana Adamu, emphasized on further educational endeavour to fulfill their lifelong dreams.

They said: “We want government to send us back to school. We heard that some of us who were taken away like us have gone back to school abroad. We want to go back and complete our education.

“This brings back our respect. As for our children, government can take csre of the children while we are back to school.

“We are in communication with our parents. We are allowed to go and visit our parents and family members. We thank the government for what they have done for us but we would like to move to our homes, to live with our families. If we are in our houses, we will feel better.

“So, most importantly, government should send us back to school and take care of our children. We are not happy that we are not in school. And instead of keeping us here, they should take us to our houses. It will be better for us.”

On how they escaped from their captors, some of the Chibok girls said they pretended they were going to visit their colleagues/school mates in the next village and escaped into the bush before they were rescued..

Some said they were led and shown the way to escape by some Boko Haram members

Similarly, the Theatre Command, Operation Hadin Kai, disclosed yesterday that it had no record and was not unaware of any issues of forced termination of pregnancies of women and young girls who were impregnated against their will.

There had been insinuations in certain quarters that some of the pregnant women and young girls were not happy with the situation that led to their being pregnanted by Boko Haram insurgents, hence the resort to forced abortions and termination of pregnancies.

Speaking on the development, the Commander, 7 Division Medical Services and, Consultant Othophaedic and Trauma Surgeon, Lt. Colonel Adeniyi Samuel Ogunsakin, said: “We don’t carry out or grant request for the termination of any pregnancy in any of our hospitals or clinics.

“Even if the person or any person comes with such request, we wont grant it because such request is against our practice.

“First, It is illegal; it is against our rules. This hospital is not known for that. We don’t terminate pregnancies.

“There have never been any of such cases in our hospitals. We have never had a case of somebody coming here that they want to terminate a pregnancy because this hospital is not known for that.

“We don’t terminate pregnancy. Majority of our work is on wounded soldiers and officers. We are even expecting some wounded soldiers for treatment.

“Apart from that, we also carry out other surgical cases, such as haenia, appendicitis haemorrhoids and medical cases like malaria, typhoids alike. We see all sorts of cases and they are largely patient within this barracks community.

“Within the Mamalari Cantonment community, we attend to all civilians and military that are able to find their way into the barracks. But because of the complexity, because of the enormity of the security, assessing these barracks is very difficult to get civilians, except when they are wounded in action with our soldiers and they are brought in with our soldiers.”


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