101 Dapchi schoolgirls confirmed released by Federal Government
The Federal Government said the number of Dapchi schoolgirls released on Wednesday has increased from 76 to 101, following the documentation of more of the freed girls by security agencies.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who gave the update in a statement issued in Abuja, said that the number could still increase as the documentation of the freed girls was ongoing.
Mohammed had in an earlier statement confirmed the release of 76 of the 110 abducted students of Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe on Feb. 19.
The minister said that the release of the schoolgirls was the outcome of the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to all security agencies to do everything possible to secure the release of the schoolgirls.
He said the girls were released around 3 a.m. through backchannel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country, and that it was unconditional.
”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,” he said.
Meanwhile, the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls who regained their freedom on Wednesday have been airlifted to Nigeria’s capital Abuja.
They were flown to Abuja aboard a military plane from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital after being handed over to the Federal Government by the military there.
Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, handed over the freed girls to a four-member Federal Government delegation in the evening.
The delegation comprised of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Danbazzau; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim; and a member of the House of Representatives, Goni Lawan Bukar, from Dapchi.