Escaped Chibok girl, Palmatah Mutah, graduates in United States
Palmatah Mutah, one of the 276 Chibok schoolgirls, abducted by terrorists in Northern Nigeria in 2014, has earned an associate degree from a community college in the United States of America.
Her graduation over the weekend, came five years, one month and three days after the ignoble mass abductions, that sparked global outrage and ignited the #bringbackourgirls campaign.
The 23-year-old, who escaped that fateful April night by jumping out of a Boko Haram truck, becomes the first escaped Chibok girl to obtain an associate degree from an institution abroad.
Mutah and 10 others were sponsored to school in the US by international human rights lawyer, Emmanuel Ogebe.
Ogebe in a release stated that she was the only one to make it to the university after one year in a two-year programme in the US meant to enable them to complete their high school education.
In January 2016, Mutah along with two other non-Chibok victims of terror and persecution from northeast Nigeria, who had also successfully passed the entrance exams, began their academic sojourn in a university in Washington.
“One of the three gifted schoolgirls who was orphaned by Boko Haram in Maiduguri graduated last year with an associate degree in Science while Ms Mutah also obtained her associate degree in science.
“By contrast, her Chibok classmates who were whisked out of school in a hostile takeover by the Nigerian Embassy in 2016 are still battling with high school certificate and university entrance exams three years after despite all the promises and enticement of the Buhari administration.
“Ms Mutah, who had rejected all entreaties and threats from the Nigerian embassy’s agents to denounce her benefactor Ogebe and drop out of the schools he secured for her, however, came out tops despite declining.
“In addition to her courage, character and intellect, Ms Mutah was also active in her campus Christian fellowship group. She volunteered in her church and also participated in the church’s seasonal mass choir. “Interestingly of all the 11 schoolgirls we flew into America in 2014, in the largest airlift of Nigerian victims, she was the only one who personally flew with me.
“I am also grateful to those who helped us support her these past few years.” He said.