The federal government has confirmed the release of some of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls from the hands of Boko Haram.
A statement by the minister of information, Lai Mohammed stated that 76 of the 110 abducted students were released in the early hours of Wednesday, March 21, 2018.
He said this was in furtherance of the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to all security agencies to do everything possible to secure the release of the girls who were abducted on 19 Feb. 2018.
Ongoing process: The release of the girls is “ongoing.” The released 76 “are those who have been documented so far.”
No ransom was paid: The minister said that the release was secured through back-channel efforts with the help of some friends of the country, and it was unconditional. The girls, according to the minister, were released around 3 a.m. “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,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
More updates coming: 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.