By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA—Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, said yesterday that the Federal Government would do everything within its powers to provide the 82 Chibok girls released recently by Boko Haram quality education.
He spoke at the handing over ceremony of the girls to the Minister of Women Affairs by the Department of State Service, DSS, in Abuja.
Osinbajo, who was represented by his Chief Personal Physician, Dr. Nicholas Audifferen, said: ‘’It is the right of the girls to receive good education and the government would do everything possible to give them quality education and restore them back to normal life.
“We are very happy to move you to the next stage. We will do all that is necessary to make you happy and comfortable. It is your right to get good education and I can assure you that Federal Government will do everything to give you good education and make you happy.”
Handing over the girls on behalf of the Director of DSS, the Director, Medical Services, Dr. Anne Okarafor, said the girls were confirmed fit, stable and comfortable medically and psychologically before the handover.
“We have conducted all the necessary checks on the girls and have certified them medically and psychologically fit before the handover. Whatever we found during their stay with us we have treated.
”However, some of them require continuous medical treatment and we will keep our medical facility here to ensure continuous medical care for them.
“I can say that they are stable and comfortable. They are stable not only medically but we made sure they are psychologically okay. We are very happy to hand them over today for rehabilitation,” she added.
Receiving the girls, the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, said the federal government attached so much importance to the welfare of the girls and would deploy all available resources to give them quality rehabilitation at the new facility.
She commended the quality of facilities available at the centre and assured that the girls be properly taken care of for the four months period they were scheduled for the remedial programme.
The minister said the girls were grouped into four classes and would be enrolled into schools by September this year.
With the 82 girls making the total number 106 in the facility, she said that more teachers and medical doctors had been engaged to ensure proper care and treatment of the girls with additional facilities at the centre.
“The 82 girls went through medical and mental tests. Some had bullet wounds and their treatment took longer. Now, they have completed all medical procedures and will be handed over to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.
“The therapy will continue at the rehabilitation centre and we will keep them until September when we will enroll them into schools. It is good that we are receiving them today, when they have been okay medically and psychologically.
“We pray that god will touch the heart of those keeping the rest to free them so that they can come back to join their colleagues. The girls are free to go home any time they wish, we are not keeping them under compulsion but by their own concept and that of their parents.”
We will collaborate with government
In his remarks, representative of the United Nations Population Fund, UNPF, Dr. Eugene Kongryny, expressed satisfaction with the effort made by government to free the girls and pledged to collaborate with government and other stakeholders to give the girls quality rehabilitation.
“UNPF is glad to be part of stakeholders receiving these girls today. We will work shoulder by should with the ministry of Women affairs and social development to ensure that the girls receive necessary rehabilitation they require to get back to normal life. We look forward to full collaboration with government,’’ he said.
It’s a new chapter
Also speaking , the Child Protection Specialist in UNICEF, Samuel Manyok, congratulated the girls for regaining their freedom promised to support every effort to restore the girls to normal life.
“We are happy at UNICEF and we congratulated the Chibok girls for regaining their freedom to pursue their life dreams.
“This is a new chapter of your life. We thank God you are alive, we will join Nigerian government and all stakeholders to support you because we are here to support government efforts.
“We will also support in getting other g