President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday received 82 Chibok school girls released on Saturday by the Boko Haram sect, describing it as his administration’s pleasant second anniversary gift to Nigerians.
Buhari formally received the rescued girls behind closed doors at his official residence inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, had, earlier in the day, received the girls at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on behalf of the President.
The girls were thereafter taken to DSS Medical Centre for medical attention before being driven in two luxury buses to meet with the President some minutes after 7pm.
State House correspondents, who had been waiting eagerly for them since 2pm, were not allowed into the venue of the reception with the only exception being the Nigerian Television Authority crew.
A copy of the prepared text the President read at the reception was later made available to journalists.
The President promised that the Presidency would personally supervise the performance of those entrusted with the girls’ welfare and commitments made by the Federal Government on their health, education, security and general well-being.
He said, “This is a pleasant second anniversary gift to the people of Nigeria. I cannot express, in a few words, how happy I am to welcome our dear girls back to freedom.
“On behalf of all Nigerians, I will like to share my joy with you, your parents, your relatives, friends and Government of Borno State on regaining your freedom.
“The Federal Government will like to commend the security agencies, the Red Cross, local authorities, local and foreign NGOs and all those who contributed in one way or another to secure the release of our Chibok girls.”
Some top government officials including ministers and service chiefs joined Buhari to receive the girls.
At the end of the session, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Me. Femi Adesina, said the President promised that all that was expected to be done to rehabilitate the girls into the society would be done.
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