BY ROTIMI DUROJAIYE
Governor Babagana Umara Zulum on Monday received 15 women and children from Borno State, abducted by Boko Haram insurgents between 2020 and 2021, at different churches located in Borno and neighboring Adamawa State.
Senior Special Assistant to the governor on publicity, Lanre Obadiah, said in a statement on Tuesday, that those received by the governor comprised six women and their nine children, all of whom escaped from the insurgents.
Obadiah said Zulum was informed by Borno’s Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Zuwaira Gambo.
Three of the women, Maryam Ishaya, Rachel Simon, and Esther Ayuba were abducted in Tukalashi in Chibok Local Government Area while the remaining, comprising of Alheri Ezikiel, Victoria Andrew and Victoria James were abducted in Cofure, a village in Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
According to the commissioner, the women took advantage of the recent surrender by the dreaded Boko Haram sect to escape from their captives and presented themselves to the security operatives who later handed them over to the Borno State government to be reunited with their families.
The commissioner informed the governor that the women trekked for six days from a forest in Buni Yadi controlled by the Boko Haram faction group, ISWAP to Damboa.
In his remarks, Governor Zulum expressed his joy over the return of the women. He urged residents to intensify prayers for the total return of peace to Borno and other parts of the country.
The governor also assured of government’s commitment to ensure other people in captivity are released and returned back to their families.
“All praise be unto Allah for bringing us our daughters abducted in Chibok back. It is our sincere hope that all those in captivity will find their way back home. Both the federal and state governments, including the security operatives are working tirelessly to ensure that no person remains in captivity. We are doing all within our means to ensure total peace is returned back to our state and all other parts of the country,” Zulum said.
The governor presented the women to Borno State CAN chairman, Mohammed Naga accompanied by the CAN secretary, Chibok Local Government chairman, traditional rulers from Chibok and other top government officials who are indigenes of Chibok.