The Federal Government has revealed that it did not pay any ransom to terrorist group, Boko Haram, to facilitate the release of the Dapchi schoolgirls kidnapped by the terrorists one month ago.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had earlier disclosed that 76 of the 100 girls were confirmed to be back in Dapchi after they were released by Boko Haram militants on Wednesday, March 21, 2018.
Mohammed, alongside Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, briefed the press ahead of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday.
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According to Mohammed, the "unconditional" release of the girls was as a result of back-channel efforts achieved through "the help of some friends of the country".
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."
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.
In a report that was published by the Wall Street Journal in December 2017, President Buhari approved the payment of €3 million to Boko Haram to facilitate the release of 103 Chibok girls.
He approved the sum of €1 million for the release of 21 schoolgirls in October 2016, before approving another €2 million for the release of a further 82 girls in May 2017. Five Boko Haram commanders were also released by the Army as part of the deal.