14 September 2017

Nigeria: Remaining Chibok Girls to Be Released Soon, Alhassan Says

Photo: Premium Times
Rescued Chibok girls reunite with parents

The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Alhassan, has assured that the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls will be released soon.

Alhassan said that this at the farewell dinner organised by the ministry in honour of the 106 released abducted school girls after eight months long rehabilitation period in Abuja.

She said that the Federal Government was still negotiating for the release of the remaining abducted school girls including other citizens under the Boko Haram captivity.

"The Federal Government has never relented in the negotiation and I want to assure you that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

"I appeal to their captors to come to the table and negotiate so as to see reasons to release those in captivity," she said.

Alhassan said that the girls were fit and ready for school again, adding that the Federal Government was fulfilling its promise on the girls by ensuring they were enrolled back to schools with their bills paid and necessary items for school provided.

She said that when the girls were released President Muhammadu Buhari told the world that the girls had seen the worst and he promised that they would be given the best.

"The government is fulfilling that promise as we all know; the girls have been at the rehabilitation centre for a long time and as a new school year begin.

"They are going to be in one of the best schools; the American University of Nigeria (AUN) where they will start a special foundation programme like a pre-degree."

She said that their fees had been paid by the government and with support from UNICEF, UN Women, UNFPA and other supporters including Afriphone and Airtel who supported the girls in various capacities.

"Since their release, we have been giving them therapy to make them understand that challenges are a part of life and whatever happens to one in life is God's will."

The Country Representative of UN Women, Ms Comfort Lamprey commended the efforts of government in ensuring the general well-being of the Chibok girls.

She advised the Chibok girls to be responsible ambassadors in the North East even as they would go to their community, adding that the remaining Chibok girls would be released soon.

The Deputy Representative of UNICEF, Mrs Peinille Ironside said that the return to their community was a new chapter in their lives.

"Believe in yourself and the great potential embedded in you as girls; we advocate for the peaceful return of others girls and boys in captive."

She said that her organisation would be supporting the girls with their basic needs as they returned to school.

The Country Representative, United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA), Ms Diene Keita advised the girls to remain focus in their studies as they have bright future.

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