Three lecturers of the University of Maiduguri who in July 2017 were kidnapped when on a mining exploration by Boko Haram have been released.
The geologists were set free alongside 10 women, kidnapped in a raid by the militant group on a military/police convoy on Damboa road, near Maiduguri.
The Department of State Services, DSS on Satuesday briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the release, following negotiations, with the terrorists.
As in past freedom deals, the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC was involved.
According to a statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant(media) to the president, the release followed a series of negotiations as directed by President Buhari.
According to the brief given by the DSS, all the 13 rescued persons are in the custody of the service and are on their way to Abuja with the assistance of the Nigerian Army and the Air Force.
In expectation of their being brought to the DSS headquarters, a team of doctors and psychologists has been placed on standby.
The rescued persons may be presented to the President and thereafter released to their families, if there are no issues of security or medical concerns.
The President, who got step by step progress reports on the lengthy negotiations while they took place, received the good news with a lot of happiness.
He commended all those who in one way or the other helped in making the release possible.
He then urges the DSS and the Nigerian Army to intensify efforts to bring home the remaining Chibok Girls still in the custody of the terrorists.
The Director-General, Malam Lawal Daura, assures the President that they were working hard to bring home the remaining girls and, as soon as possible, bring the Chibok Girls saga to an end.
In a tweet, the Red Cross confirmed its role as an intermediary.
Free at last.
Today, acting as a neutral intermediary, we helped facilitate the return of 13 people to their families in north-east #Nigeria.
— ICRC Africa (@ICRC_Africa) February 10, 2018
“We’re so pleased they’re free. ICRC managed to play the trusted neutral intermediary role – to collect these people and hand them safely over to the Nigerian authorities.”@PYoussefICRC on helping 13 people released today to return to their families in #Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/l75dwn11Hl
— ICRC (@ICRC) February 10, 2018
Follow us on twitter @3television