Nigeria's Chibok girls begin rehabilitation in capital

The girls were formerly in the DSS medical facility where they were subjected to medical tests.

The Department of State Services will hand over 82 Chibok girls recently rescued by the Federal Government to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs on Tuesday, Punch reports.

The minister said the 82 girls, who have been in the custody of the Department of State Services since their rescue, were made to undergo several medical tests and treatment.

The 82 rescued Chibok girls have been handed over to the Ministry of Women Affairs to commence their rehabilitation.

According to her, the government will support any of the girls who wish to return home; her parents will be invited to take her home.

She said they will not be enrolled in their former school (GSS Chibok) but in different school.

Asked why the girls have not gone back to Chibok, the minister said none of them are held against their own will or that of their parents.

Alhassan refuted allegations that the girls were being kept against their wish, saying "the government is only trying to ensure that they are well catered for".

"This is to show Nigerians that we care for these girls and we regret that they were taken away when they were in school and that they had missed or lost three years of their lives in captivity".

"We are happy to have our girls fit enough to come back and start the rehabilitation and reintegration program", Al-Hassan said.

At an emotional ceremony on Tuesday, the Department of State Services (DSS) formally handed the girls to the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Aisha Alhassan and representatives of worldwide agencies, United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA) and The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Between two to four girls will occupy a room in the hostel provided for them.

The girls have joined the 24 others, who were earlier rescued in September a year ago.

She added that any of the girls that wished to be withdrawn immediately from the programme would be released in respect of her wish.

  • Joanne Flowers