The directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to all security agencies to do everything possible to secure the release of the Dapchi schoolgirls, who were abducted on February 19, 2018, has yielded fruits, with the confirmed release of 76 of the 110 abducted students in the early hours of Wednesday.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the 76 are those who have been documented so far, adding that the release of the abducted students is ongoing.
Mohammed said the girls were released around 3am through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country, and that it was unconditional.
He said: “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.”
Mohammed 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.
There have been reports that five of the girls, kidnapped by Boko Haram Terrorists, are dead.