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Chibok girls: Women pray, mark 9 years of girls in captivity

Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen with one of the rescued Chibok schoolgirls, Salami Pogu during the prayer session in Abuja. Photo: Azizatu Sani/Radio Nigeria.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen has urged Nigerians to stand in solidarity with security organisations by providing information that will aid in the rescue of the remaining Chibok girls still in captivity. 

She made the appeal in Abuja on Friday, during a prayer session to mark the 9th anniversary since the abduction of some Chibok schoolgirls in Borno State by Boko Haram. 

276 schoolgirls were abducted from Chibok Secondary School in Borno State by Boko Haram terrorists on the 14th of April 2014. The incident sparked national and global outcry demanding for their release. 

According to the Head of the Intelligence Unite of the Joint Military Taskforce in the North- East, Operation Hadinkai, Colonel Obinna Ezuipke, out of the total number abducted, 57 girls escaped in 2014 while 108 girls were released in 2018. 

Also, three Chibok schoolgirls were rescued in 2019, two in 2021 and nine in 2022, with a total of 178 girls rescued and 96 still in captivity.  

The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen said the government had been working consistently to see to the release of the remaining schoolgirls as well as ensure the welfare of the rescued girls and their families. 

“Let the release of this children be the parting gift of this administration because I know how we have made every effort, I know Mr. President have pushed and get the security to do all that they can, let God just wipe our tears and let the remaining 97 still in captivity, let the be released and that is why Nigerian women are crying to God today”, she said.  

The Country Director of Action Aid Nigeria, Mrs. Ene Obi, said Nigerian women believed in the capacity of the military and urged them to redouble their efforts to secure the release of the remaining girls. 

“We want to say well done to the Federal Government for what they have done so far but they have no done enough they need to do more, our children are in captivity. We do believe in the capacity of the security of this country, the live of our children should no be politicised. We need our children back”, Mrs. Obi said. 

NAWOJ wants in-coming administration to prioritise women safety

The National President of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Comrade Ladi Bala called on the in-coming administration to give priority to women in appointive position to ensure the safety of women. 

The representatives of the of the women wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria, WOWICAN, Bishop Hope Daniel and the Federation of Muslim Women Associations of Nigeria, FOMWAN, Amina Abdulganiyu prayed for the release of the remaining Chibok girls and other girls in captivity.

They also prayed for the restoration of peace and security in the country. 

The prayer session also featured prayers from other women faith association who asked God to grant wisdom and guidance to the in-coming administration to judiciously steer the affairs of the nation and grant comfort to the families of the abducted schoolgirls. 

Reporting by Azizatu Sani; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu