Parents of freed Nigeria schoolgirls still wait to see them

82 Chibok girls released; 113 still missing

According to NAN, Dolapo Osinbajo, the wife of the Vice-President, expressed her happiness for the safe return of the girls while Mrs Alhassan, the Women's Affairs minister, said that the girls would be reintegrated back to the society after they had undergone psycho-therapy.

"Those saying we are not allowing them access are not the direct parents of the girls; we can not bring anybody to see them apart from their biological parents, allowing visitors everyday will not allow them to heal fast", the minister added.

Photos released by the government Sunday showed the rail-thin president addressing the Chibok schoolgirls at his official residence Sunday evening, a day after their release. "We can't afford to keep them any longer", she said.

"However, was there abuse physically, sexual and all of that?"

Activists and parents of the girls say they have been frustrated by a lack of contact and clarity about their future.

He also described the release of the girls as "gallant and outstanding achievement by the Federal Government that should be commended by Nigerians".

Receiving the girls, President Buhari said he was deeply grateful to security agencies, the military, the government of Switzerland, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and local and international NGOs for the role they played in the operation.

"This is the ultimate goal, and the release of these girls is an important step on this pathway".

Although the army has retaken much of the territory initially lost to Boko Haram, large parts of the northeast, particularly in Borno, remain under threat from the militants, who have ramped up bombings and attacks in recent months.

Campaign groups and families have criticised the government for keeping the previously released girls away from their parents but Alhassan said they were free to come and go from the centre.

Boko Haram seized a total of 276 girls in the 2014 abduction.

A group of United Nations human rights experts on Tuesday called on Nigeria's government to ensure the girls' rehabilitation and reintegration, saying release was only a first step in their recovery.

"As a lay person, not as a medical doctor, I feel that medically too they are not too bad", she added.

"These girls went through captivity for more than two years".

A list of the girls' names was published on Sunday evening and photographs of them have been sent to Chibok and the surrounding area for cross-checking. We will do it again if needed.

In December, families who are seen as key to the girls' recovery complained they were blocked from celebrating Christmas together.



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