The 21 girls from Nigeria’s Chibok town released by the Islamic State group-affiliated Boko Haram militant group earlier this month should be educated abroad, Chibok’s local government Chairman Ya’aga Yarakuwu said Saturday.
The 21 girls who were freed two weeks ago were part of the 276 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist militant group in April 2014 from their boarding school. Scores of those kidnapped are still missing.
Yarakuwu appealed to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who signed a deal in which a prisoner was swapped for the girls, to help the community by improving security in Chibok in order to ensure the safe return of the others who still remain at the mercy of the militant group.
He also requested Buhari to create provisions for the girls to go abroad for their education adding that most of the girls’ parents had died due to high blood pressure, local media reports said. The community, Yarakuwu said, lacked proper roads and schools.
Buhari met the 21 girls last week vowing to help them with rehabilitation programs adding that the government will assume responsibility for their education.
He tweeted later: “Today I received 21 dear daughters. They have seen the worst that the world has to offer. It is now time for them to experience the best.” He added that further negotiations were underway to secure the release of all the kidnapped girls.
“On the Chibok girls, we have been able to secure the release of 21 of them, so over 100 more are still in the hands of the terrorists somewhere in the Lake Chad Basin are which include Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria,” Buhari said speaking from Berlin. “In getting this 21 out, we hope we will get enough intelligence to go about securing the rest of them.”
The deal to release the 21 girls was brokered by the Red Cross and Swiss government officials, a Nigerian government spokesman said. The girls reunited with their families last week at an emotional ceremony in the Nigerian capital Abuja.