•Remaining captives must be rescued –Army
From Linus Oota, Lafia
The Federal Government has said the recently released 82 Chibok girls will soon meet with their parents, according to the Minister of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan.
She said reports that government prevented the previously released girls from meeting their parents were false.
“When the 82 parents arrive from Chibok (in a matter of days), doubting Thomases will see that they’re truly Chibok girls,” the minister said.
She also disclosed that the 21 Chibok girls, who were released last year, were scheduled to travel to Chibok for Easter but, the trip was cancelled due to some security concerns.
Al-Hassan added that the parents of the girls were later invited to Abuja where they met with their wards.
The minister noted that the girls were currently undergoing a nine-month rehabilitation and reintegration, including classes, sports and vocational training in Abuja.
“The people complaining that they’re not allowed to see the Chibok 21 are not their biological parents or guardians. Reports that we are preventing parents from seeing Chibok 21 are absolutely not true.
“The parents visit from time to time. We’re very careful who we grant access to Chibok girls. We will only grant access to their parents, not community members.
“It was the choice of the Chibok girls and their parents—when they returned—to stay under the care of the Federal Government in Abuja.”
She added that one of the 21 Chibok girls had asked for permission to visit her family. “We’ve allowed her to go, she’ll be back in 2 weeks,” Alhassan said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Military promised to do all within its powers to ensure that every Nigerian being held in captivity was released and allowed to continue their normal life.
Speaking while receiving a peace flag at the Army headquarters Garrison by a group under the auspices of Africa Arise for Change Network in conjunction with FCT Market Women Association to mark the release of the 82 Chibok girls, Lt. Col. Adamu Usman, expressed gratitude for the safe return of the girls.
According to him, “it is not over until it is over. We want to assure Nigerians that the Army and the government won’t relent until this battle is won.”
He thanked the women, Nigerian media as well as civil societies for their support and prayers for the military and promised to present the peaceful flag to the appropriate quarters.
FCT coordinator, Africa Arise for Change Network, Princess Lillian Cosmos, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for keeping to his promise and facilitating the freedom of the girls after three years.
“The release of the Chibok girls might appear to have delayed but we take cognisance of the fact that all hopes were lost in the months after their abduction until the coming of Buhari’s administration, we therefore commend Buhari for keeping to his promise. We also use this opportunity to thank the military for pushing the terrorists to a point where prisoner swap was possible.