Buhari President sends delegation to welcome released Dapchi girls

The delegation of ministers will meet with the freed girls in Yobe State.

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President Muhammadu Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a delegation of cabinet ministers to Dapchi, Yobe State to personally assess the return of the schoolgirls who were released by Boko Haram after they were abducted one month ago.

The girls were released earlier on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, when Boko Haram militants drove them back into Dapchi to wild jubilations from parents and residents.

In reaction to the development, President Buhari sent the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali; Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau; and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadija Ibrahim to meet with the freed girls as the government tries to determine the number of girls released.

The Federal Government had earlier confirmed that 101 out of the abducted 110 schoolgirls have already been confirmed to be free.

Mohammed had earlier issued updates where he initially said 76 had been documented, before updating it to 91 girls and one boy.

During the last update, he said, "As of now, I can confirm that 91 girls and 1 boy have been released. I  could say it's a development. Many of the children that were released were not dropped in one place - they were dropped on the road. They went back, naturally, to their parents houses and are now being asked to come and be documented at the centre."

He had earlier revealed that the girls were released around 3 am through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country, and that it was unconditional.

He said, "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."

He said the number of the freed girls would be updated after the remaining ones have been documented.

Dapchi abduction

Boko Haram militants invaded Government Girls Science and Technical Secondary School in Dapchi, Bursari local government area of Yobe on Monday, February 19, 2018, and abducted 110 schoolgirls.

According to accounts by residents, the terrorists invaded the town around 7 pm in over 18 gun trucks mounted with high caliber weapons.

The abduction was a repeat of another Boko Haram attack that happened when militants invaded Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok and kidnapped 276 female students in April 2014.

After several escapes and releases, 112 of the girls remain in captivity of the deadly terrorist group.

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