One of the 21 Chibok girls released by Boko Haram last week, Gloria Dame, has revealed that the abductees were, at a time, without food for a total of one month and 10 days.
Dame made this revelation on Sunday while giving a testimony on behalf of her colleagues at a thanksgiving service organised for them at the health facility of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja.
“I did not know that a day like this will come that we will be dancing and giving thanks to God among people,” she said in Hausa.
“For one month and 10 days, we stayed without food. I narrowly escaped bomb blast in the forest.
“We are praying to God to touch the heart of Boko Haram to repent and we are calling on Nigerians to pray and fast for the release of our remaining ones in captivity.”
The service was in progress when parents of the freed girls arrived the venue, and they were reunited with their loved ones after more than two years of their abduction.
With the arrival of the parents, the environment was charged with emotion and tears of joy.
The parents took turns to address the congregation and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and all Nigerians for their efforts and prayers towards the rescue of their daughters.
Yaga Yarakawa, chairman of Chibok local government council, described the release of the girls as “historic”, saying: “Before their abduction, I was involved in supervising their feeding, which was organised by the Borno State Secondary Schools Feeding System. So I know them very well.
“These are the real girls and you could see when their parents came; you see their joy, it manifest naturally.
“This is enough to tell you that it is a reality and anybody who says different things or is doubting, maybe the person has a different agenda altogether.”
He appealed to the government to put all necessary machinery in place to ensure the release of the other girls.
Yakubu Nkeki, chairman of Abducted Chibok Girls’ Parents Association, thanked the president for the release of the girls.
“From the physical looks of the girls, it was obvious that they were not radicalised as claimed by some people,” he said, and also debunked claims that many of the girls were pregnant.
The service was attended by Lai Mohammed, minister of information and cultur, and Aisha Alhassan, minister of women affairs.