The Federal Government of Nigeria has clarified that only 76 abducted Dapchi schoolgirls were released on Wednesday by Boko Haram, leaving 34 still in captivity.
The clarification was made to correct erroneous reports in the social media that the entire 110 abducted schoolgirls were released.
One hundred and ten schoolgirls of Dapchi High School, Yobe were abducted on 19 Feb. 2018 after Boko Haram insurgents drove into the town with buses unchallenged by security forces.
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.
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,” Alhaji 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.