FG raises hope on the release of the remaining Chibok girls by Boko Haram
Posted by News Express | 13 October 2016 | 1,356 times
The Federal Government on Thursday raised hope on the release of the remaining Chibok girls by Boko Haram after an initial set of 21 was let go early in the day by the terrorists. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the fresh hope while addressing a world press conference at the Obasanjo Hall of the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.
The minister said: “We can confirm that 21 of the girls were released, safely, to us by 5.30 this Thursday morning and they were flown to Kaduna from the location of their release. This is the most glaring manifestation to date of the unwavering commitment of Mr. President to secure the safe release of the girls and reunite them with their families. It is also a result of the round-the-clock efforts by the administration to put a closure to the sad issue of the kidnap of the girls.
“We expect the released girls to land in Abuja shortly. Ahead of their arrival, we have assembled a team of medical doctors, psychologists, social workers, trauma experts, etc, to properly examine the girls, especially because they have been in captivity for so long. They will also be adequately debriefed. We have the list of the 21 girls but we are now contacting their parents as part of the necessary verification exercise. As soon as that is concluded, we will release the names to the public.
“Gentlemen, as we have always said, we have been working on the safe release of the girls and following all the leads available. In this instance, the moment we had a credible lead, Mr President gave the green-light to the DSS to pursue it. We can confirm that the DSS pursued the lead in collaboration with a friendly European country and a renowned international humanitarian organisation. The DSS was supported by the military.
“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, the product of painstaking negotiations and trust on both sides.
“We see this as a credible first step in the eventual release of all the Chibok Girls in captivity. It is also a major step in confidence-building between us as a government and the Boko Haram leadership on the issue of the Chibok Girls.
“We want to thank all Nigerians for their support and for never losing confidence in the ability of Mr. President to secure the safe release of our Chibok Girls.”
•Photo shows Lai Mohammed during today’s world press conference at the Obasanjo Hall of the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.