From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has described as “a pleasant second anniversary gift to the people of Nigeria”, the release of the 82 Chibok schoolgirls, abducted three years ago.
Buhari who met behind closed doors with the girls brought in two Macopolo buses and chaperoned into the residence to avoid waiting journalists, said his administration would not rest until others abducted in similar circumstance were rescued and reunited with their families:
“I cannot express in a few words how happy I am to welcome our dear girls back to freedom.
“On behalf of all Nigerians, I will like to share my joy with you, your parents, your relatives, friends and Government of Borno State on regaining your freedom.
“The Federal Government will like to commend the security agencies, the Red Cross, local authorities, local and foreign NGOs and all those who contributed in one way or another to secure the release of our Chibok Girls.
“Let me reassure Nigerians, especially relatives and friends of the remaining girls that the Federal Government will spare no effort to see that they and all other Nigerians who have been abducted safely regain their freedom.
“Finally, I am very pleased to have personally met you and let me assure you that the Presidency will personally supervise the performance of those entrusted with your welfare and commitments made by the Federal Government on your health, education, security and general well-being.
“No human being should go through this kind of ordeal. The security agencies and state governments should continue to provide special protection to educational institutions vulnerable to this kind of outrage especially in remote areas.”
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Presidential Spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina said, the girls’ rehabilation began as they landed in Abuja;
“The rehabilitation process has began since the girls arrived in Abuja. It has started with change of clothes medical attention and some psychological reorientation.
“They have been handed over to those who will supervise their rehabilitation. Some of them came here with them.”
On when they will be reunited with their parents he said “a laid out programme will be followed.”