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Some of the released Chibok girls need surgery for various ailments – FG
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Some of the released Chibok girls need surgery for various ailments – FG

Mfonobong Akpan

The Federal Government, on Thursday, said some of the schoolgirls released by Boko Haram militants over the weekend would need surgery for various ailments.

The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Jummai Alhassan, stated this at a press conference in Abuja.

The minister said results of the medical tests so far conducted on the 82 Chibok girls, who were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, in April 2014, had shown that some of the youngsters needed to be operated upon.

She stated that the medical screening, being carried out on the girls, would be completed between two and three weeks.

Alhassan stated that before the arrival of the 82 girls, the Federal Government had been taking care of the 21 previously released girls who came back in bad shape and four babies.

The women affairs minister explained that the parents of the 21 girls were reunited with their daughters within one week of their return in October 2016.

The minister also refuted reports that it had denied the parents of the 82 rescued girls access to their daughters, adding that the girls were not stopped from communicating with their parents.

According to her, those spreading such reports are not the actual parents of the girls but rather representatives of Chibok community, who feel they must have access to the girls.

The minister said photographs of the 82 recently released girls had been sent to families in Chibok for identification.

The minister restated that the government would ensure the release of the no fewer than 113 of the schoolgirls still with the terrorists through negotiations or exchanging the girls with detained Boko Haram members.

She stated, “Negotiations are ongoing to exchange the remaining girls with Boko Haram detainees, we can’t afford to keep them any longer.

“We have no apologies or regrets whatsoever for exchanging Boko Haram detainees for our daughters. We’ll do it again if needed.”

Alhassan added that arrangements were already being made to transport the actual parents of the girls to Abuja once they identified their daughters among the pictures of the girls sent to Chibok through the chairman of the community.

She stated, “The parents and the 82 girls will soon unite in a couple of days, but it will have to be well planned. It is not going to be easy to transport all 82 parents. That is 164 persons. Transportation and security have to be provided because the number is quite large, and you all know how sensitive Borno State is at the moment”.

Alhassan added that once the 82 girls completed their medical treatment, they would undergo the rehabilitation and integration processes which the 21 initially rescued girls were undergoing, adding that some of the girls still had bullet or blast fragments in their bodies.

She disclosed that the committee on the rehabilitation and reintegration of the Chibok girls would be headed by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.