Ruth Pagu, one of the girls abducted by Boko Haram at a secondary school in Chibok seven years ago on Saturday reunited with her parents in company of the two children she bore during her marriage in captivity.
Ruth was one of the over 200 girls abducted on April 14, 2014 by the terrorist group during a midnight attack on at the hostel of Government Girls School, Chibok.
While few of the girls were able to flee from the abductors during their transportation into the Boko Haram enclave, some of them were also released later after ransom was allegedly paid by the government.
Many of the girls, have however, remained in captivity till date, with some believed to have either died or forcefully married by the members of the terrorist group.
According to a statement issued yesterday by the spokesman of the Borno State Governor, Mallam Isa Gusau, Ruth, alongside someone she was said to have married during her captivity, surrendered themselves to the Nigerian military on July 28, 2021 at a location in Bama.
Gusau said under the supervision of his boss, Governor Babagana Zulum, security and government officials had kept the development secret.
Gusau said the governor and the security agencies also used the last 10 days to contact Ruth’s parents and the association of parents of the missing schoolgirls in order to ascertain her identity.
It was a sweet reunion yesterday when the governor reunited Ruth with her overwhelmed parents at the Government House, Maiduguri.
An excited Zulum said reuniting with Ruth with her parents was a boost to the hopes of parents, other family members and the Borno State government that all others still in captivity, would be safely found and in good health.
Zulum said the government would sponsor a rehabilitation and reintegration programme for Ruth.
The governor commiserated with families of those still in captivity and urged them to remain optimistic, prayerful and cooperative with security agencies.
He said: “I am extremely excited both as Borno 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.”
Chairman of the Chibok Girls Movement, an association of all affected parents, Mr. Yakubu Keki, expressed joy over the return of Ruth. He said the people of Chibok appreciated the efforts of security establishments and the concern and support regularly shown by Governor Zulum on the plight of parents whose daughters were still missing.
Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri