President Muhammadu Buhari formally received the 21 Chibok schoolgirls freed by Boko Haram terrorists at the presidential villa, Abuja, yesterday.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan; and senior government officials, handed the girls over to Buhari in a ceremony that lasted about 30 minutes.
The girls were accompanied by their parents, community leaders, the senator representing Chibok, Ali Ndume, and the chairman of Chibok Local Government Area, Ya’aga Yarkuwa.
Buhari announced: “These 21 girls will be given adequate and comprehensive medical, nutritional and psychological care and support. The Federal Government will rehabilitate them, and ensure their reintegration back to the society is done as quickly as possible.
“Besides rescuing them, we are assuming responsibility for their personal, educational and professional goals and ambitions in life. Obviously, it is not late for the girls to go back to school and continue the pursuit of their studies. These dear daughters of ours have seen the worst the world has to offer. It is time for them to experience the best the world can do for them. The government and all Nigerians must encourage them to achieve their desired ambitions.”
In a voice laden with emotion, Yarkuwa thanked the Federal Government for facilitating the return of the girls. He, however, noted that Chibok was not yet safe. He said a terrorist attack had occurred in a nearby community, 24 hours earlier
Speaking on behalf of the girls, Rebecca Malum thanked God and the President for their release and prayed for the safe return of her colleagues still being held by the terrorists.