Fifteen Chibok school girls who escaped from their Boko Haram abductors have been awarded scholarships to attend the American University Nigeria Academy, AUN, Yola.
The girls were amongst over 250 school girls kidnapped from their hostels at the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State on April 14, by Boko Haram militants.
At least 50 of the girls managed to escape. Their colleagues have remained in captivity more than four months after.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is the founder of AUN, said he and some individuals have awarded 15 of the escaped girls scholarships.
“15 of the #ChibokGirls who escaped have been admitted into AUN Academy on a scholarship,” Mr. Atiku tweeted.
“My sincere thanks to the good spirited individuals and friends who raised funds for this worthy cause. #BringBackOurGirls” he added.
Mr Atiku also tweeted pictures of the girls in a classroom.
The scholarships are the first major individual donations to the girls since they regained their freedom.
They came after 17-year-old Pakistani girl-child education campaigner, Malala Yousafzai, announced in July that her foundation had raised USD$200,000 in support of the girls’ education.
Malala made the announcement while meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, who also announced government scholarships for all the girls to complete their education in other parts of the country.
A second alleged donation by the president ended in a controversy after the parents of the girls disclosed that they were handed cash gifts when they met with Mr. Jonathan in Abuja.
Leaders in Chibok community accused the presidency of exposing the parents of the girls to ridicule, by giving some parents as much as N200, 000 while others received nothing.
The money was paid by a presidential aide, the Chibok leaders said.
“While we acknowledge that any well intended support for our suffering population which has lost means of livelihood since the events of April 14 and subsequent attacks could be welcome,” the leaders said. “However the approach that the presidency adopted has brought reproach and dishonour to our community in the eyes of the public that has supported us since the abduction of our daughters.”
The presidency denied offering money to the girls and their parents and pledged to investigate the claims. It is unclear if it did.