The Nigerian government on Tuesday said the full rehabilitation of the recently rescued 82 Chibok schoolgirls has begun.
On Tuesday, the girls were admitted to a government facility in the nation’s capital Abuja where they will receive psychological attention, further medical care and remedial courses to accelerate their reintegration into the society, minister of women affairs and social development, Aisha Alhassan, told reporters while on a tour of the facility.
“We are happy to have our girls fit enough to come back and start the rehabilitation and reintegration program,” Al-Hassan said.
The official, on behalf of the Nigerian government, received the girls into their rehabilitation center where 24 other rescued Chibok girls were also housed.
The 82 rescued girls had been in the custody of the Nigerian secret police, where they underwent a medical examination, were reunited with their families and cleared for rehabilitation.
They were rescued on May 6, having spent more than three years in the captivity of terror group Boko Haram. They were among more than 200 schoolgirls abducted in April 2014 by the terror group in Chibok community of the northeastern state of Borno.
Altogether, 106 rescued girls have been admitted to the government’s rehabilitation facility.
While in therapy, the girls will be prepared to return to school soon, according to Alhassan.
“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.
“That is why we are trying to do all that we can. We cannot bring back the three years but we will make sure that they make up for what they have lost,” she said.
At the center, the girls will receive ICT training and learn some livelihood skills, including catering and sewing.
Each of the girls will be allowed to learn two vocational skills at the rehabilitation center. They will also learn five higher middle school subjects, including the English Language, Mathematics, and Biology from their teachers.
They will be divided into about five classrooms, where 20 teachers have been hired to teach them the various aforementioned subjects.
Between two to four girls will occupy a room in the hostel provided for them.
Two in-house doctors and nurses will see to the girls’ medical needs while in rehab and an ambulance has been stationed at the facility in case of emergency.
“The rehabilitation program for these girls will last from now until September when they would have been okay medically and psychologically, and then, we enroll them back in schools, and from school, they will be going back to their communities. By then they would have overcome the trauma and everything,” Alhassan added.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government has said although the negotiations to bring back the girls had proved to be a very difficult process, its commitment toward rescue the remaining girls was unwavering.
Garba Shehu, a spokesman of President Muhammadu Buhari, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview that the discussions were taking place away from Nigeria, with the engagement of interlocutors, non-government organizations and even foreign governments.
“As the President had said again, and again, he is prepared to do just anything in other to have the (remaining) Chibok girls back. We hope to achieve that as soon as possible,” Shehu said. Enditem