The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has refuted the reports that have gained currency in the past few hours that the Federal Government swapped some Boko Haram prisoners for the 21 Chibok girls released by the terrorist group early Thursday morning.
Speaking to newsmen at the Radio House, Abuja, on Thursday, the Minister said the released Chibok girls have been airlifted to Kaduna, where a team of medical and psychiatric doctors will meet and evaluate them.
Mohammed said the girls were released following credible information from trusted negotiators among the leadership of Boko Haram.
He said the President gave directives to officials of the State Security Service after it was certain that the release of the girls was possible, based on the information provided.
“The moment we had a credible lead, we built confidence on our sources and the president gave authorities to the SSS to pursue the release if the girls.
“As soon as the necessary confidence was built on both sides, the parties agreed on the date and the location of the release of the 21 girls. Please note that this is not a swap. It is a release, thebproduct of painstaking negotiations and trust on both sides.
“As soon as agreements were reached; the parties decided on a place of exchange and the girls were released.
“They were immediately flown to Kaduna state where they are expected shortly; this afternoon to Abuja”, Mohammed said.