Minute by Minute: How DSS officially handed over 82 Chibok girls to Women Affairs ministry

The Department of State Security Service, (DSS) on Tuesday handed over the 82 Chibok girls released by Boko Haram after being in captivity for about three years.

The girls who have been undergoing some medical check-ups at the medical facilities of the DSS since their release, will henceforth undergo some skills acquisition and remedial programmes at the National Council for Women Development.

The programme will last till September this year when the school year will begin and the girls will be enrolled in other schools within the country.

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Addressing journalists during the handover ceremony, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Alhassan said that the Ministry have engaged another doctor and two nurses to further the medical attention on the girls that arrived.

She added that the girls have been divided into four classes and each of the classes have five teachers who will take the girls on skills acquisition and remedial programmes.

“We have one doctor for the 24 girls, but now we have engaged another one and we have engaged two nurses because the number of the girls have increased to 106, therefore we have two in-house doctors here and two in-house nurses.

“The medical facilities of the DSS will always be available to us in case there are medical issues we cannot handle here.

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“The girls have been divided into four classes and each class have five teachers, we are training each girl on two skills of their choice”.

It will be recalled that 24 girls were initially released from captivity before the 82 were released, making the number of girls released 106.

Speaking further on the girls education, Alhassan said “while they are here, they will be doing ICT training which is compulsory, they will be doing remedial studies, they will be studying five subjects which are English, Mathematics, biology and Agricultural Science”.

The Minister, however said they girls will be sent back to school to continue from where they stopped, she pointed out that the girls will not return to the Government Secondary School, Chibok where they were abducted from, instead they will be enrolled in other schools within the country.

“All of them will go back to school together, because if we keep them beyond September, it means that they will lose another school year, they are not going back to school, we are taking them back to other schools within Nigeria”, the Minister said.

However, Alhassan said they girls are free to go back to their parents if they wish, she said if any of the girls indicates interest of returning to their family, the government will not hold her back, instead her parents will be invited to take them home.

“If anyone of them today says she wants to go home, we are very pleased to call her parents, it means that she has forgotten the trauma and ready to reintegrate.

“They are here on their own free will, no compulsion, they are free to go home any time they want, we are keeping them here on the consent of their parents”, she added.

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Handing the girls over to the Minister, the Director Medical Services of the DSS, Dr Anne Okorafor said though some of the girls needs continued medical attention, but they are medically stable and ready to move to the Ministry of Women Affairs.

“We have done the necessary investigations on the girls, whatever we found during the investigation, we have treated them, some of them are still having some medical issues, and we are treating them. They are all stable and we are comfortable to move them to the ministry” Dr Okorafor added.

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