As First lady pledges support for reintegration and education of abducted girls
Rebecca Kabu, once a captive of Boko Haram for almost a decade, has finally returned home to Zana village in Borno state, Nigeria. She was one of the 277 Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted in 2014, sparking global outrage and a widespread campaign to bring them back.
At the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday, a momentous reunion took place between Rebecca and the First Lady of Nigeria, Oluremi Tinubu. A promise of support, medical care, and education was extended by the First Lady to Rebecca as she embarks on her journey to rebuild her life.
With tears glistening in her eyes, Rebecca expressed her struggles and challenges during her long-awaited homecoming. “English Language is difficult for me,” she said in a quiet voice, conveying the hurdles she faces in communication after years of captivity.
However, the First Lady reassured her that this obstacle will be overcome, emphasizing her determination to ensure that Rebecca gets the support she needs.
The First Lady, a staunch advocate for education and women’s empowerment, expressed her commitment to Rebecca’s wellbeing and future. “Rebecca will be our first comeback story and returnee; she is our first fruit; she is a case I am quite interested in to see that she can go back to school at her own pace,” Oluremi Tinubu affirmed. She further shared her organisation’s plans to help girls like Rebecca, who were forced out of school, return to quality education.
Oluremi Tinubu’s NGO, Renewed Hope Initiative, is striving to facilitate the reintegration of girls like Rebecca into society and provide them with the educational tools they need to succeed. “They need education as a tool for the marketplace, to be able to understand and manage the inheritance and legacies that shall be handed to them,” she stressed, highlighting the transformative power of education.
Rebecca’s rescue, coordinated by government security agencies, brought her back to her family on July 17, marking the end of a traumatic chapter in her life.
Rear Admiral Yaminu Musa, the Coordinator of the Counter Terrorism Centre, revealed that Rebecca had been certified as both medically and mentally fit for reintegration into society. The National Security Adviser’s office is also working on securing Federal Government education support for Rebecca and 15 other rehabilitated girls who were also rescued.
As Rebecca begins her journey towards healing and empowerment, her story symbolises the resilience and hope that persists in the face of adversity. The First Lady’s pledge of support serves as a beacon of promise for Rebecca and others like her, highlighting the importance of education in reshaping their futures and enabling them to contribute positively to their communities.