By Allen Cone
The 82 Nigerian Chibok schoolgirls captured by Boko Haram more than three years ago were reunited with their families Saturday.
Bahir Ahmad, the personal assistant to the president, announced the news on Twitter, writing it was an “emotional” welcome at the capital, Abuja.
“I am really happy today, I am Christmas and New year, I am very happy and I thank God,” said Godiya Joshua, whose daughter Esther was among those freed, in a report by The Telegraph.
The girls were released two weeks ago. The remaining 113 are supposedly still captured.
In 2014, 276 girls were kidnapped. Boko Haram released 21 girls in October and another 50 or so escaped on their own since being abducted.
“We have trust in this government, definitely they will rescue the rest safely and back to us alive,” said community leader Yakubu Nkeki.
Five commanders from the extremist group were exchanged for the girls’ freedom. Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross helped negotiate their release.
Some refused to return after becoming radicalized.
The two groups of girls — earlier this month and October — were reunited with family members Saturday. Nigeria’s Channel TV showed the young women laughing and embracing.
Families in the remote Chibok community had been waiting word on whether their daughters were freed.
Officials told the parents that the girls would remain in government custody until they complete psychosocial and medical therapies.
“The children are being rehabilitated and we believe that in due course they will be properly aligned with their families,” Abidemi Aremo, an official in the Women Affairs Ministry, told the parents at a facility of the secret police in Abuja.
Edited for mb3-org.com