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Expert calls for urgent psychological counselling for released Chibok girls

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One of the 21 freed Chibok girls wipes away her tears as Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo tries to comforts her at his office in Abuja on October 13, 2016. Jihadist group Boko Haram has freed 21 of the more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped more than two years ago, raising hopes for the release of the others, officials said Thursday. Local sources said their release was part of a prisoner swap with the Nigerian government, but the authorities denied doing a deal with Boko Haram. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA / AFP

One of the 21 freed Chibok girls wipes away her tears as Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo tries to comforts her at his office in Abuja on October 13, 2016. Jihadist group Boko Haram has freed 21 of the more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped more than two years ago, raising hopes for the release of the others, officials said Thursday. Local sources said their release was part of a prisoner swap with the Nigerian government, but the authorities denied doing a deal with Boko Haram. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA / AFP

A security expert, Mr Ona Ekhomu, has advised the Federal Government to provide psychological counselling for the just released 21 Chibok girls.

Ekhomu, the President, Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON), gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.

Describing the release of the girls as a positive development, Ekhomu also called for urgent antenatal care for any one of them that was found pregnant.

He said, “These girls have been scared for life; it is hoped that they will resume their normal lives at some points in the future.

“These girls went to hell and the Federal Government and Borno State Government should protect them, provide treatment and care for them.”

Ekhomu advised the government not to expose the girls to undue publicity by parading them in the offices of politicians or traditional rulers.

“The girls must be allowed to spend quality time with their families in order to begin the healing process,” he said.

Ekhomu thanked the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaigners and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for their roles in ensuring the release of the girls.

He said that the relentless pursuit of the freedom of the Chibok girls embarked upon by BBOG showed that the public opinion still matter in the country.

The security expert urged the government to work hard on releasing other women, girls and boys still held captive by the Boko Haram.

Ekhomu, however, appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for keeping an important campaign promise of “bringing back the Chibok girls”.



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