105 of the 110 school girls abducted from Government Girls Science and Technical College,Dapchi by Boko Haram fighters over a month ago have been released, according to the federal government.
Confirming the numbers, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says a boy was among those released by the terror group.
He explained that the earlier conflicting figure released by him was because the “the girls went to their homes after they were released in Dapchi.”
According to Mr. Mohammed says the figure is being updated as the girls showed up in the presence of public officials.
“What we have now is 105 girls and a boy; that makes it 106 persons released today”, he says.
The minister earlier says only 76 schoolgirls had been documented.
However while speaking with State House correspondents, Mr. Mohammed says the number had increased to 91.
“As of now, I can confirm that 91 girls and one boy have been released. Many of the girls children that were released were not dropped in one place but were dropped on the road.”
”For the release to work, the government had a clear understanding that violence and confrontation would not be the way out as it could endanger the lives of the girls, hence a non-violent approach was the preferred option.
”Within the period when the girls were being brought back, operational pause was observed in certain areas to ensure free passage and also that lives were not lost,” Mr. Mohammed says.
He notes that the number of the freed girls would be updated after the remaining ones have been documented, especially because the girls were not handed over to anyone but dropped off in Dapchi.
“I can confirm that the Dapchi girls have been returned, what we can confirm to you is that Mr President did actually assure Nigerians that the abducted girls would be released, but he also said that violence and confrontation would be ruled out.
“Based on that, the Federal Government with the support of friendly countries embarked on back term negotiations; this back term negotiation has led to the release of these girls.
“What I can confirm today is that these girls were released yesterday, but on the conditions, number one is that they were released unconditionally; no money changed hands.
“Number two, they had one condition to return them to where they picked them.
“So in the early hours of today they did return the girls but of course, most of the girls went to their parent’s homes,’’ Mohammed states.
As 4 Ministers proceed to Dapchi
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered four ministers to proceed to Dapchi in Yobe for an update on the release of the female students abducted in February.
The Ministers include Mansur Dan-Ali, Defence; Abdulrahman Danbazau, Interior; Lai Mohammed, Information; and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Khadijat Abba-Ibrahim.
The four ministers left the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting for the trip to Dapchi.
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