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by Deji Abiodun & Agency Reporter
A total of 158 women and children abducted by Boko Haram insurgents from Katarko village, Yobe state, have been reunited with their families in Damaturu, capital of the state. The victims were released by the sect members after three weeks of captivity.
Ahmed Goniri, the state commissioner for justice and chairman of the state committee on rehabilitation of victims of insurgency, said this while addressing journalists in Damaturu on Thursday.
He they had regained freedom three weeks ago but remained in custody of security agencies to undergo screening to ensure that they were indeed captives. “The victims were screened by security operatives to authenticate their status while government provided them with psychological therapy to ease their trauma,” Goniri said Abdurahman Dauda, a displaced person, confirmed that his wife and six daughters were among those released. “Two of my boys are still in their custody, but I am of high spirit that they will soon be rescued,” he said.
One of the victims, who did not want to be named, said: “To be fair to the insurgents, they did not rape or abuse us; they simply asked those who were not interested in their religion to leave, and they eventually released us.”
Meanwhile, the state government has provided N50,000, two bags of rice, sugar, noodles and wrapper to each of the 15 widows among the victims, while 47 other women received N30,000 each and same quantity of rice, sugar, noodles and wrapper.
Presenting the items to them, Goniri commiserated with them, saying the relief materials were meant to help them to resettle. He said 20 boys were still in custody of the insurgents and expressed hope that the renewed operation by the military would assist in rescuing them from their captors.
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