Photograph — Punch

The Federal Government yesterday granted scholarships to the 106 Chibok schoolgirls so far released by the Boko Haram insurgents. The girls, who were abducted while writing their West African Certificate Examinations (WASCE), are expected to study at the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, for their tertiary education.

Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Al-Hassan, disclosed this yesterday at the send forth in honour of the girls. The girls were in high spirit as they danced throughout the event. However, they are expected to undergo foundational classes at the university before the main admission into 100 Level.

“The foundation course to be undertaken by the girls is equivalent to pre-degree programme offered in some Nigerian universities. This is aimed at bringing them up to standard,” she stated.

According to the minister, the girls will be leaving Abuja immediately for their hometown, Chibok, to enable them to spend about two weeks with their parents and families before proceeding to school.

The minister noted that within the eight months of rehabilitation the girls spent in Abuja they have become a greater part of her life. While assuring them of a regular visit to their school, she urged them to put the events of the past behind as they begin a new phase of their lives.

On the fate of the remaining schoolgirls yet to be rescued, Al-Hassan assured that they would be released as negotiation was already in progress. “The good news is that very soon, we will have our remaining girls released. That is to say, that negotiation is already on and we will see the light at the end of the tunnel. I assure you; very soon, we will have our remaining daughters back.”

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