Boko Haram frees 21 kidnapped Chibok girls

For 21 of the estimated 219 Chibok school girls, freedom finally came their ways Thursday, as they walked away from the captivity of the terror gang, Boko Haram. Their identities were not immediately made public.

The girls were reportedly released by the murderous group, after being held captive since April 14, 2014, when they were snapped up from their domitaries at the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.

Their release, which was confirmed Thursday  by the presidency, brought relief to their parents, who have been distraught over the abduction saga.

Earlier, the Department of State Services (DSS) had reportedly taken custody of the freed girls, and subsequently briefed the presidency about the development.

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media, Mallam Garba Shehu, reportedly confirmed Thursday that the DSS had briefed the president on the development.

A statement by the presidential spokesman confirming the release of the girls reads thus:

“It is confirmed that 21 of the missing Chibok Girls have been released and are in the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS.

The Director-General, Malam Lawal Daura just finished briefing the President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari.

The release of the girls, in a limited number is the outcome of negotiations between the administration and the the Boko Haram brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss government. The negotiations will continue.

“The President welcomes the release of the girls but cautioned Nigerians to be mindful of the fact that more than 30,000 fellow citizens were killed via terrorism.

Malam Lawal wants the girls to have some rest, with all of them very tired coming out of the process before he hands them over to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. The President takes off shortly on a trip to Germany for a state visit.”

There were speculations that about four Boko Haram fighters might have been swapped by the military, to facilitate the release of the 21 girls.

But the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, dismissed the report at a press conference.

Said Alhaji Mohammed: “Please note that this is not a swap, but a release.”

“People want to believe bad news than good news. The girls were released; there was no swap.”‎

According to the minister, a team of medical doctors, social workers and psychologists have been assembled to examine the girls when they arrive in Abuja.


…We’re delighted, says Bring Back Our Girls group

Meanwhile, #BringBackOurGirls, the voluntary group of campaigners championing the unconditional release of the school girls, has expressed delight over the reported release of 21 of the Chibok school girls.

The group said in statement Thursday that they welcomed reports indicating the release of the girls.

“This wonderful development confirms what we have always known about the capacity of our government to rescue our #ChibokGirls,” said the statement jointly signed by the group’s leaders, Aisha Yesufu and Oby Ezekwesili.

“While awaiting further details, we take this opportunity to salute the work of our security services at the front lines – the commitment, resilience and tireless efforts of our members of the Multi-National Joint Task Force and the civilian JTF.

“We also thank the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Swiss government and all negotiators involved in securing the release.

“Following this development, we trust that our government will continue to work to keep the safety, security, and well-being of the other girls a high priority.

“We further urge the international community to continue to support our government’s effort to rescue all other abducted Nigerians, so that parents, the Chibok community, the nation, and the world can finally put an end to this nightmare once and for all,” the group further said.

The terrorists, on April 14, 2014, kidnapped nearly 300 female students from a secondary school in Chibok on April 14, 2014, thus provoking global outrage.

More than 50 of the girls managed to escape on the day they were abducted.

But in May this year, one of the girls, 19-year-old Amina Nkeki, was found by the Civilian JTF.


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