The Department of State Services (DSS) on Tuesday handed over the recently released Chibok Girls, abducted by Boko Haram terrorists to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development for rehabilitation.
The 82 girls were released after the Federal Government agreed to swap them for some members of the terror group. Recall that 21 girls were released in October 2016.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, represented by his Chief Personal Physician, Dr Nicholas Audifferen, gave assurance that the Federal Government remained committed to the well being of the girls.
Osinbajo said the Buhari administration would do everything possible to ensure that the girls were rehabilitated and reintegrated into society.
“It is the role of government to ensure that you are safe and properly cared for,” he said.
The Director Medical Services, DSS, Dr Anne Okorafor, who handed over the girls to the ministry, said they were medically, psychologically and physically fit.
“All the investigation required has been done and we have treated the girls except for a few of them who require additional follow up treatment,” Okoroafor said.
Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Sen. Aisha Al-Hassan (2nd, L); Director of Medical Services, Department of State Security Service (DSS), Dr Ann Okoroafor (R) and two of the 82 Chibok schoolgirls recently freed from the Boko Haram terrorists during the symbolic hand-over of the girls from DSS to the Ministry, in Abuja on Tuesday (30/5/17). The Ministry is to immediately commence a comprehensive process of the girls rehabilitation.
While receiving the girls, the Minister, Aisha Alhassan said they wi remain under government’s care until September when they will be reintegrated into school at the commencement of the new academic session.
Alhassan also refuted the allegation that the girls were being kept against their wish, saying “government is only trying to ensure that they are well catered for.”
‘”Nobody is holding the girls against their wish; these girls have gone through a lot and we need to help them to fit back into the society.
“They have missed a lot and we have brought teachers to help them to catch up with what they have lost while away under captivity; but anyone who wishes to go back is free to do so,” she said.
Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Sen. Aisha Al-Hassan (R) welcoming the 82 Chibok schoolgirls recently freed from the Boko Haram terrorists to her custody in Abuja on Tuesday (30/5/17). The girls were handed over by the Department of State Security Service (DSS) for the Ministry to immediately commence a comprehensive process of their rehabilitation.
The Child Protection Specialist of UNICEF, Samuel Manyok, said the organisation is glad to be part of the stakeholders involved in providing the girls with necessary rehabilitation.
According to Manyok, his organisation looks forward to closer relationship with all stakeholders in rehabilitating the girls.
On his part, the Deputy Representative of UNFPA, Dr Eugene Kongnyuy said the handover is a new chapter for the girls.