By Samuel Itsede
The Nigerian Air Force weekend airlifted previously conjoined twins, Mercy and Grace Aeiygbenmi, back to Yenagoa after a successful separation surgery at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Yola.
A statement by Air Commodore Ibikunke Daramola Director of Public Relations and Information Nigerian Air Force said this was in fulfillment of a promise earlier made to the couple by the force.
The twins and their parents arrived the Bayelsa International Airport in company of the NAF Chief of Medical Services (CMS), Air Commodore Gideon Bako, onboard a NAF Beechcraft KingAir 350i aircraft.
They were received on arrival by the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, as well as other members of the Bayelsa State Executive Council and the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the FMC Yenagoa, Dr Dennis Allagoa.
They expressed their appreciation to the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and the entire NAF family for the humanitarian airlift as well as the support provided throughout the process.
A Press Conference was earlier held in Yola, before their departure, to announce the successful separation of the twins.
The ceremony had in attendance the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,Boss Mustapha as well as the representatives of the Adamawa State Governor and the Honourable Minister of Health.
The CMD of FMC Yola, Professor Awul Abubakar, said the successful separation of the twins, who were joined at the abdomen was as a result of collective efforts of medical professionals as well as support received from various quarters, including the NAF.
In his remarks at the event, the CAS, who was represented by the CMS, said that the NAF would sustain its numerous humanitarian relief operations, including medical outreaches, to alleviate the sufferings of victims of insurgency, banditry and natural disasters.
He noted that the Service had, through such initiatives, provided free medical services to over 400,000 people across the Country, including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East.
He noted that the airlift of the Aeiygbenmi twins was one of such gratifying humanitarian airlifts. “It is heartwarming to see the girls enjoying life as independent individuals”, he added.