Freed Chibok School Girls in Abuja to Meet with President Buhari

The 82 rescued Chibok Schoolgirls, who were released from their abductors’ den Saturday, have arrived Abuja to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa.
Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, who confirmed this development on his twitter handle, said the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, received the girls at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Over 200 students of the Federal Government Girls College, Chibok, Borno State, were abducted by the Boko Haram terrorist group in April 2014.
More than 20 of them had earlier been freed.
The girls, who regained their freedom on Saturday from Boko Haram captivity, would be meeting President Buhari at about 4.00 p.m. Sunday he said.
The 82 girls were released to international negotiators who have been working in collaboration with the Federal Government for their safe return since they were kidnapped in April 2014.
Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman on Saturday in a statement issued in Abuja also confirmed that the girls were release by their captors in exchange for some Boko Haram suspects held by the Federal Government.
According to him, the girls were freed after a lengthy negotiation between the Federal Government and the terrorists.
It was gathered that a combined team of military and Red Cross negotiators involved in the negotiation flew two Boko Haram commanders to Banki town in Borno State in exchange for the girls while the Nigerian army took custody of the girls who were handed over by Boko Haram representatives.
The Department of State Security (DSS) was also heavily involved in the negotiation that led to the release of the girls.
Sani Usman who resides in Baki said they were apprehensive when they saw the military planes landing. “We were not sure why the helicopters were landing until we saw two men handcuffed and driven away in a military convoy and also the Chibok girls driven into town under heavy military escort.”
It was also reported that huge cash in foreign currency was also paid as part of the negotiation.
Garba Shehu had said: “President Muhammadu Buhari is pleased to announce that negotiations to release more of the #ChibokGirls have yielded results. Today, 82 more #ChibokGirls were released. After lengthy negotiations, our security agencies have taken back these girls, in exchange for some Boko Haram suspects held by the authorities. The released #ChibokGirls are due to arrive in Abuja tomorrow Sunday May 7, and will be received by the President.
“President Muhammadu Buhari expresses his deep gratitude to all who played a part in ensuring the success of this operation, as follows: Security agencies, the military, the Government of Switzerland, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and local and international NGOs.
“The President has repeatedly expressed his total commitment towards ensuring the safe return of the #ChibokGirls, and all other Boko Haram captives.
“The President has received detailed briefings from the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) at every stage of the negotiations/operation”, he said.
Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross (@ICRC) in Africa has explained its role in the freedom of the girls.
The agency said on its Twitter page that it only acted as an intermediary between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government. And then also its vehicles were used to transport the freed girls to Nigerian officials at Banki, in Borno state.
Patrick Youssef who tweeted the agency’s position said: “With the agreement of all the parties involved, we @ICRC acted as a neutral intermediary to facilitate their transport back
“Many families have lost contact because of the conflict and the #LakeChadCrisis. We’re so relieved in this case that families can be reunited”.

Author: News Editor

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