The Federal Government has confirmed the release of some of the girls abducted by Boko Haram militants from a secondary school in Dapchi, Yobe State.
It said only 76 girls were released Wednesday, meaning the militants have not freed 34 of the girls.
The confirmation was made in a statement by the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed. He however did not confirm or dismiss reports that five of the kidnapped girls are feared dead.
Mr. Mohammed said President Muhammadu Buhari directives to all security agencies to do everything possible to secure the release of the girls, who were abducted February 19, had “yielded fruits”.
He said the release of the remaining abducted students was “ongoing”.
He said the girls were released around 3 a.m. through “back-channel 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,” Mr. Mohammed said.
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.”