A total of 82 Chibok girls released by the Boko Haram sect in exchange for the release of some of their members in custody. Picture: AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga

Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday night received 82 Chibok girls released by the Boko Haram sect in exchange for the release of some of their members in custody.

Buhari who shelved his medical trip abroad scheduled for Sunday afternoon until night in order to personally receive the girls, described the girls' release as a pleasant 2nd 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,'' he said.

Buhari reassured Nigerians, especially relatives and friends of the remaining girls that the Federal Government would spare no effort to see that they and all other Nigerians who have been abducted safely regain their freedom.

''Finally, I am very pleased to have personally met you and let me assure you that the Presidency will personally supervise the performance of those entrusted with your welfare and commitments made by the Federal Government on your health, education, security and general well-being."

''No human being should go through this kind of ordeal. The security agencies and state governments should continue to provide special protection to educational institutions vulnerable to this kind of outrage especially in remote areas,'' he said.

Independent Foreign Service