Aisha Buhari meets 82 Chibok school girls in Abuja


After a stop at a military base in Banki near the border with Cameroon, the girls were flown to the capital Abuja for a meeting with President Buhari.

The mass abduction of almost 300 schoolgirls from a boarding school three years ago brought world attention to Boko Haram's deadly rampage in northern Nigeria.

The 82 have been staying at the domestic intelligence agency facility on the outskirts of the city since their release in a prisoner swap deal on Saturday after months of negotiations. "We can't afford to keep them any longer", she said.

"None of the girls released on Saturday will be returning to school in September as they are still undergoing medical and psychological treatment that should last two to three weeks", the government's Twitter feed stated.

"We are negotiating seriously to have the rest of the ChibokGirls released".

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Alhassan also said that the government made provision for skill acquisition programme for the girls to enable them earn a decent life.

Mrs. Alhassan, the Women's Affairs minister, said that the girls would be reintegrated back to the society after they had undergone psycho-therapy. "I think that it's shameful", she continued.

Boko Haram has killed thousands and displaced more than 2 million people across northeast Nigeria and surrounding countries.

Observers and local media link the release of the girls to the President's nearly immediate departure for the United Kingdom where he recently spent nearly two months receiving unspecified medical treatment.

While such information was divulged to the media, she added that the girls' families were left in the dark as they did not have access to any information or list of names.

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The 24 girls who left captivity previous year have been staying in a secret location in the capital, Abuja, for assessment, rehabilitation and debriefing by the Nigerian government. Alhassan said they traveled to Chibok for Christmas but upon their return to the capital said they were scared to go back to their community. The newly released girls will join the program.

"Government is preparing the girls to go back to school in September this year because they have lost so much academically", said presidency spokesman Garba Shehu.

The parents of the freed Chibok schoolgirls "are free to visit them at any time".

"Reports that we are preventing parents from seeing their children who are among the set of 21 Chibok girls are absolutely not true".

Fifty-seven (57) of them escaped from captivity shortly after the kidnap, while being transported by the terrorists, leaving 219 girls missing.

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