The Nigeria Government has confirmed that a total of 101 out of the 110 female students abducted from Dapchi in Yobe state on February 19 th have so far regained freedom from their abductors. As at the time of filing this report, President Muhammadu Buhari, while presiding over the Federal Executive Council meeting, excused the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd) and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadijah Bukar Abba-Ibrahim, to proceed to Dapchi with immediate effect.
The delegation are expected to ascertain the number of girls released and brief the presidency appropriately. Meanwhile, news of the release of the Dapchi girls sent waves of excitement to all members of the Federal Executive Council as they settled down for the business of the day. Abba-Ibrahim, could not hide her excitement, she openly announced while stepping into the Council Chambers, venue of the meeting, that she was the happiest person on earth. She got handshakes and embrace from colleagues, congratulating her on the good news. Some of the ministers were heard telling one another that it was the best news ever to start the day. Although unconfirmed sources said five of the girls died in the stampede that ensued during the abduction, Abba-Ibrahim said verification of the number of girls released was on-going. She advised the girls not to be discouraged by the experience they have had, assuring that the federal government will do its best to boost security in the schools. She told State House Correspondents, “I’m very excited today. My name is Hon. Khadijah Bukar Abba Ibrahim, the minister representing Yobe State. I’m exhilarated, I’m happy. You just describe anything today, that is what I feel because the Dapchi girls have been released. We are very very happy. We have achieved what we had gone out to achieve and we thank the almighty God for His mercies.” On the news that some of the girls were dead, she said, “as far as I know now they are taking a roll call. So, we cannot ascertain how many have passed on or whatever. We will find out much later on what the casualties are.” On her advice to parents as regards the girls going back to school, she said, “I will advise them to to continue sending their children to school, we as a government will just fortify the schools in order to make them safe fortune children to actually go and learn.” On his part, Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, who predicted that the girls will be released a week ago, said, “Basically, I want to speak on the impression that people had that we cannot get the girls released. “If you can remember the last interview I had with Channels Television, I said in two weeks, two months or less we are going to get the girls released and this has happened. “So this is as result of the efforts of Mr. President and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for the support he has been giving to us and the output is showing now.” On the negotiations that went in before the release, he said, “I did say even if you are going for negotiations if you are not doing so from the point of strength then you cannot make it” Shortly before their departure, Mohammed, said the release of the girls is a thing of joy for all Nigerians. When asked to speak on the allegation by one of the parents that his daughter was not released because she refused to renounce her faith, he said, “You see, all we can tell you is what we have gotten from our sources on ground, as this things develop we will let you know. “The girls were released unconditionally, no money changed hands. They only had one condition, that they will return them to where they picked them. So in the early hours of today, they did return the girls and most of them went to their parents homes