Former Nigerian Education Minister and Vice-President of the World Bank’s Africa division (3r L) Obiageli leads a march of Nigeria women and mothers of the kidnapped girls of Chibok, calling for their freedom in Abuja on April 30, 2014. Nigerian protesters marched on parliament today to demand the government and military do more to rescue scores of schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram Islamists more than two weeks ago. Dubbed “a million woman march” and promoted on Twitter under #BringBackOurGirls, the protest was not expected to draw a massive crowd and turn-out was hindered by heavy rain in the capital Abuja. But several hundred women and men, mostly dressed in red, marched through the rain towards the National Assembly carrying placards that read “Find Our Daughters.”
AFP PHOTO / PHILIP OJISUAPHILIP OJISUA/AFP/Getty Images
The spokesman for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, has tweeted confirmation of the Chibok girls’ release, saying 21 of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants have been rescued by the military.
Sources close to the Borno state government told reporters that some girls were brought to the air force hospital in Maiduguri.
The girls are said to be undergoing screening to determine their state of health as well as their profile.
In April 2014, over 200 girls had been abducted from their hostels at Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno state in April 2014.
In the heat of the over six-year insurgency, Borno State, in northeast Nigeria, had become a strong hold of the Boko Haram.
Since the abduction of the girls, pressure has been mounted on the Federal Government to rescue them, including demands for a swap with members of Boko Haram in detention.
The girls abduction had raised a world wide condemnation including the UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon and U.S First Lady Michelle Obama, culminating in the formation of the group, BringBackOurGirls, that have been at the forefront of pushing for the release of the girls.
One of the abducted girls, Aminat Ali Nkeki was rescued in May 2016 during a raid on Sambisa forest by the military.
Also in August, the terrorist group Boko Haram released a ‘proof of life’ video of the girls.