Boko Haram has released 158 women and children abducted from Katarko village in Yobe State and have been reunited with their families in Damaturu, the state capital after three weeks in 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.
“The victims were screened by security operatives to authenticate their status while government provided them with psychological therapy to ease their trauma,” said Goniri.
The victims were released by the insurgents three weeks ago but remained in custody of security agencies to undergo screening to ensure that they were indeed captives, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
One of the victims, who craved anonymity said they were not maltreated by the insurgents. “To be fair to the insurgents, they did not rape or abused us, they simply asked those who were not interested in their religion to leave, and they eventually released us.”
Following the release of the victims, the Yobe 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.
Goniri, while presenting the relief materials, said that the government commiserated with the families of the victims and provided the materials to help them to resettle.
According to him, 20 boys were still in custody of the insurgents. He therefore expressed hope that the renewed operation against the insurgents would help in the rescue of the boys.