The federal government has denied reports that the released 21 Chibok schoolgirls were swapped with Boko Haram prisoners.
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said this at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday.
According to Mohammed, the girls were released at 5:30am Thursday, and flown to Kaduna.
He added: “We expect them to arrive in Abuja soon. We have the names of the girls and we are now contacting their parents. As soon as that is done, we will release their names”.
A Boko Haram commander had been quoted as saying that the girls were swapped with some detained Boko Haram militants.
But at the press conference, Mohammed said the release of the girls was secured through “confidence building” with Boko Haram.
“Please note that this is not a swap, but a release”, he said, adding: “The release of these girls does not mean an end to military operations, but it is a new phase in the war against insurgency.”
Mohammed said that the government had assembled a team of medical doctors, social workers and psychologists to examine the girls when they arrive in Abuja.
Mohammed added that President Muhammadu Buhari was ready to do all he could to bring the insurgency to an end.
“Mr President has made it clear that whatever he can do to bring the insurgency under control he will do it,” he said.