Venue of the special thanksgiving was filled. The church service was organised by the federal government.
And when the parents finally saw their daughters for the first time in over 900 days, they quickly dissolved into a mix of tears and joy.
No fewer than 276 of the girls were abducted and 57 escaped within a week of their abduction. They were abducted by Boko Haram on 14th April, 2014.
Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed represented the government at the church service held at the Presidential Villa on Sunday.
They recount their ordeal
And miss Gloria was the one who spoke on behalf of the girls. She was happy.
And as she jumped for joy, she said: “we stayed for one month without food.’’ A heavy hush blanketed the church.
She continued: “I narrowly escaped bomb blast in the forest. I never knew there would be a day like this.
“I will give thanks to God ,’’ she said.
She pleaded to Nigerians to pray for the quick release of the remaining girls in the captivity of Boko Haram.
Shiktra Kwali, in her sermon at the interdenominational service, urged the girls not to allow their hallowing experience to deter them from achieving their dreams.
The minister’s turn
Information Minister Mohammed said the world had waited for this day, calling it a day of joy.
“It is day of joy,’’ he said.
He appealed to the public against making unguarded statements that could truncate the rescue efforts, as government continues negotiation on the remaining girls,
Chairmen from Chibok also had something to say
The chairman of Chibok Girls Parents Association, Yakubu Nkenke, had said that the girls had eventually been identified by their parents.
In a similar vein, the chairman of Chibok Local Government, Mr. Yaya Yarakawa, confirmed the identification of all the girls and said those doubting their authenticity “must have sinister motive.’’
He expressed satisfaction with the role played by the government.
“I am travelling to Abuja with all the parents of the freed girls, all of us are here.
”We are overwhelmed with joy that our girls have been found alive. I cannot talk more because we are approaching security checkpoints,” he said.
The release of the girls was made possible through a negotiation brokered by the International Red Cross with the support of Swiss government.
President Muhammadu Buhari had also promised the negotiation would continue for the release of those still in captivity.