Relatives of the abducted Chibok girls have said they will continue to keep hope alive, despite the lack of knowledge about their whereabouts.
Boko Haram insurgents, last year, invaded the dormitories of the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, and abducted no fewer than 200 female pupils of the school.
Expressing delight at the recent rescue of hundreds of women and children from the Sambisa forest, the relatives of the abducted pupils, who spoke in separate telephone interviews with our correspondent on Wednesday, said they were hoping to get positive news as the military continues onslaught of the insurgents.
A parent, Rev. Enoch Mark said, “Though we are not sure, we are hopeful that our daughters will be found. We were expecting our girls to be among those who were rescued but that was not so. But we learnt that the military are moving forward inside Sambisa forest. Until we see their dead bodies, we will keep hope alive,’’ he said.
Mark added that the authorities had not invited any parent from Chibok to verify the identity of the liberated girls and women.
“We were not invited to see the freed girls. We learnt that the girls were conscious and were asked to name their villages,’’ he added.
A cousin to some of the abducted girls, Mr. Allen Manasseh, also said he was looking forward to seeing the girls again.
“Unless there is a closure, we cannot lose hope. So much noise had been made about their kidnap. If other Nigerians without a face have been recovered, we know the Chibok girls will be found. We are happy for the rescued Nigerians and we pray that the Chibok girls would also be back home soon,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, a member of the #BringBackOurGirls, Mrs. Aisha Yesufu, has called on the Federal Government to be accountable and treat citizens with respect.
Yesufu, who spoke with our correspondent on Thursday, affirmed that while the #BringBackOurGirls campaigners were happy that hundreds of abducted women and children had been rescued, it was important for the government to strengthen its feedback mechanism and engage its citizens on national matters.
“If anything, the rescue operation gives us fresh hope. We are calling on the government to deploy all resources in order to rescue the Chibok girls before May 29. I recall that the National Security Adviser said the girls would be rescued before May 29.
“We are happy that the 185 women and children abducted in Gumsuri have been rescued. We actually made a statement when they were abducted and it would have been 151 days today.
“The government denied it then and the military said it would investigate. But they never got back to us. Now, the same military is saying the Gumsuri women and children are part of those rescued.
“We shouldn’t be treated without dignity. The government should create a feedback mechanism. We demand accountability from the government. How many of our citizens have been abducted and how many are left?’’ she said.