The Federal Government has officially released a statement over the release of some of the 110 Dapchi schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists on February 19.
Announcing the release in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the girls were released around 3.00am through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country, and that it was unconditional.
On reports that the girls were returned to the town by the Boko Haram militants, the minister explained that “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”.
Giving the number of those so far released to be 76, he explained that the number are those who have been documented, adding that the release of the abducted students is ongoing.
According to him, the development came following the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari that all security agencies should do everything possible to secure the release of the Dapchi schoolgirls.
The directive he said, “Has yielded fruits, with the confirmed release of 76 of the 110 abducted students in the early hours of Wednesday.
“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.
He said 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.