PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has pledged that the Federal Government will take responsibility for the rehabilitation and education of the 21 Chibok girls that recently regained freedom from the Boko Haram captivity.
Buhari, who made the commitment on Wednesday, at a reception held at the State House for the girls who were released last week by the Islamic sect, said government would redouble its efforts to bring back the remaining girls.
The president, who was ostensibly excited, said emotionally “these dear daughters of ours have seen the worst that the world has to offer. It’s now time for them to experience the best the world can do for them.”
He also announced that the Federal Government would take care of their educational, medical, nutritional care and support to facilitate their quick reintegration into the society.
He said: “The release of these 21 girls followed series of negotiations between government and the Boko Haram group, brokered by our friends, both local and International. Since this administration assumed office, we have been working towards the safe release of the girls.”
Buhari also disclosed that with the first credible step taken in effort to secure the release of the over 200 girls kidnapped from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, since 2014, government would not leave any stone unturned as it would work for the return of the remaining girls.
The girls were presented to Buhari at the Presidential Villa, by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who had received them on his behalf last Thursday, when they were released.
Buhari said: “My dear children. This is a happy moment for me and for all Nigerians. I welcome you back to freedom. It is a moment your parents, the nation and the international community have been eagerly waiting for, since your abduction on April 14, 2014.
“We must, from the outset, thank Almighty God for this day that 21 of the Chibok girls have again breathed the air of freedom and are reunited with their parents. We are equally prayerful, that God, in his infinite mercies and benevolence, will see to it that the girls remaining in captivity will be freed and returned to us soonest.
“These 21 girls will be given adequate and comprehensive medical, nutritional and psychological care and support. The Federal Government will rehabilitate them and ensure that their reintegration back to the society is done as quickly as possible.
“Aside rescuing them, we are assuming the 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.”
Earlier in a brief remark, Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, said the release of the girls ignited the fire of joy in all Nigerians, because it was the moment they had long waited for.
Speaking on behalf of the girls, Rebecca Malu urged Nigerians to continue to pray for the remaining girls to be released safely, saying that during the long period of their captivity, they never knew they could return home as Nigerians.
In his remarks, chairman of Chibok Local Government, Honourable Ya’aga Yarakuwa, thanked President Buhari for the safe release of the girls, noting that if the president did not come on board, the entire Chibok community would have been wiped off by the terrorists.