Monday 24th July, 2017
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FG takes over 21 Chibok Girls' education, welfare

FG takes over 21 Chibok Girls' education, welfare

President Muhammadu Bu­hari yesterday at the State House, Abuja, hosted a formal reception and lunch for the 21 Chibok schoolgirls freed by Boko Haram terrorists.
The President was joined by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Law­al; Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan and some oth­er senior government officials.
The girls were accompanied by their parents and communi­ty leaders, including the Sen­ator representing Chibok, Ali Ndume, and Chairman of Chi­bok Local Government Area, Ya’aga Yarkuwa to the event.
Conspicuously absent was co-founder of the #Bringback­ourgirls movement, Oby Eze­kwesili, who had drawn global attention to the urgent need to rescue the girls, but has appar­ently fallen out of favour with the Buhari administration.
In his remarks, Buhari an­nounced that the Federal Gov­ernment would adequately re­habilitate the girls and assume responsibility for their further education, personal and pro­fessional ambitions.
He said “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 into the society is done as quickly as pos­sible.
“Aside from 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.
“These dear daughters of ours have seen the worst that the world has to offer. It is now time for them to experience the best that the world can do for them. The government and all Nige­rians must encourage them to achieve their desired ambitions.”
The President reiterated his joy at seeing to the release of the 21 girls out of the 219 believed to have been in the custody of the terrorists after 57 escaped on the night of the abduction - April 14, 2014 - from Chibok Secondary School, Borno State.
“We shall redouble efforts to ensure that we fulfil our pledge of bringing the remaining girls back home. Already, the credi­ble first step has been taken and government will sustain the ef­fort until all the remaining girls return safely,” he stated.
The Chairman of Chi­bok Local Government Area, Ya’aga Yarakuwa, thanked Bu­hari profusely for the return of the girls, declaring that without his assuming office as President, Chibok community would have been wiped off the map of Nige­ria by Boko Haram insurgents.
He noted, however, that Chibok was not yet complete­ly safe as a terrorist attack oc­curred in a nearby communi­ty just 24 hours earlier, and this continues to affect the subsist­ence farming which the people depend on for survival.
On behalf of the Chibok girls, one of them, Rebecca Malu, addressed the audience in passable English, starting with brief thanksgiving Chris­tian songs in Hausa and English, joined by the rest of the girls.
Rebecca thanked God and the President, being the father of the nation for ensuring their release and prayed for the safe return of the remaining hos­tages.
Vice President Yemi Osi­nbajo thereafter presented the girls to Buhari, with whom he posed for a group photograph.

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