By Kingsley Omonobi
In fulfillment of the promise made on January 2, 2020, when they were flown from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State to Yola in Adamawa State, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Saturday August 29, 2020, transported by flew the previously conjoined twins, Mercy and Grace Aeiygbenmi, along with their parents and medical team back to Yenagoa after a successful separation surgery at the Federal Medical Center (FMC), Yola.
The twins and their parents arrived at Bayelsa International Airport in the company of NAF Chief of Medical Services (CMS), Air Commodore Gideon Bako, aboard a NAF Beechcraft KingAir 350i aircraft.
They were received upon arrival by the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Bayelsa, Mr. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, as well as by other members of the Executive Council of the State of Bayelsa and the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of FMC Yenagoa, Dr. Dennis Allagoa, who expressed his thanks to the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and to the entire NAF family for the humanitarian airlift and the support provided throughout the process.
A statement from Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, Director of Public Relations and Information for the NAF, said the twins’ parents expressed gratitude to all those who played various roles in the successful separation of the twins, including the medical teams at the FMCs. in Yenagoa and Yola as well as the NAF personnel who participated in the airlift.
During the ceremony elaborated but in accordance with COVID-19, which had the Secretary of Government of the Federation, Barrister Boss Mustapha, as Special Guest of Honor, as well as the representatives of the Governor of the State of Adamawa and the Minister of Health, among many other dignitaries. In attendance, FMC Yola CMD Professor Awul Abubakar highlighted key aspects of the process.
He noted that the successful separation of the twins, which were found to be conjoined in the abdomen when they were born on December 1, 2019, was the result of the collective efforts of medical professionals, as well as support received from various quarters, including the NAF. .
He praised the confidence and patience shown by the Aeiygbenmis throughout the process, which, he said, contributed to the success achieved.
In its remarks at the event, the CAS, which was represented by CMS, emphasized that the NAF would sustain its many humanitarian aid operations, including medical campaigns, to alleviate the sufferings of the victims of insurgency, banditry and disasters. natural, such as floods.
He noted that the Service, through those initiatives, had provided free medical services to more than 400,000 people across the country, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the northeast.
It also revealed that the NAF had established level 2 hospitals in the Bama and Dalori IPD camps in Borno state, where it has also been providing meals to more than 1,000 schoolchildren, as well as “Dignity Packs”, which contain a package full of sanitary ware. for young girls.
Speaking further, the CAS noted that the NAF had also recently distributed palliatives to poor and vulnerable members of its host communities to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing to support the federal government’s COVID-19 response to through air transport operations. , liquid oxygen supply, as well as supplying your medical facilities for use as isolation centers.
According to him, “NAF also carried out missions to distribute life-saving medical supplies and equipment in various parts of the country, as well as airborne COVID-19 medical supplies donated by the West African Health Organization (WAHO) to 13 West African countries using NAF C-130H aircraft.
In addition to delivering supplies, the NAF also continues to play a critical role in moving seriously injured people and patients requiring urgent medical attention to the proper destinations.
He noted that the Aeiygbenmi twins’ airlift was one of those very rewarding humanitarian airlifts, adding: “It is heartwarming to see the girls enjoying life as independent individuals.”