The schoolgirls who were abducted from Dapchi a month ago have returned home. Five didn't make it alive.
Five of the 110 girls died in Boko Haram custody, Pulse has learnt, implying that only 105 returned to Dapchi. The number of the returned Dapchi girls have not been confirmed.
It's been a month since the Dapchi girls were kidnapped from their school hostel.
According to Sahara Reporters, the terrorists arrived Dapchi with the girls in 9 vehicles; same way they had taken them away.
"There was confusion in the area as members of the community scampered into the bush as the terror group appeared in the area, first dropping off one of the girls in a nearby village and then driving into the center of Dapchi town to drop off the rest of the girls. Five of the girls are dead according to our source. It is not clear if the Nigerian government paid any ransom to get the girls released", the Sahara Reporters statement read.
BBC correspondent, Stephanie Hegarty writes that; "Initially called scared, people were fleeing. Then they saw the girls in a big vehicle. Unclear whether Boko Haram militants exited town yet.
"Confirmed from several sources. Girls have been returned to Dapchi".
On March 17, 2018, Defence Minister Mansur Dan-Ali, promised that the girls were going to be released soon.
"It can be earlier; maybe a week, it can be two weeks, but we are on it, and I’m telling you with all sense of sincerity that we are closing in on them", Dan-Ali had said.
The Nigerian presidency has also confirmed the return of the girls.
On a visit to Yobe State on March 14, 2018, President Buhari had vowed that he won't sleep until the girls return home to their parents.
“I am here in Yobe State today, to express my sincere sympathies with the parents, families, the government and the entire people of Yobe State whose daughters were callously abducted by unrepentant terrorists.
"Since this ugly incident happened, I have not left any stone unturned in making sure that the girls are rescued. I have ordered the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to take direct charge and brief me on a daily basis on the efforts to bring back the girls".
Buhari also said he was going to negotiate for the return of the girls.
"Furthermore, the government is partnering with the International Community and organizations including our neighbours to ensure that these girls are safely returned. Just recently, I reiterated our resolve to negotiate for the unconditional release of the girls. This is borne out of this administration’s conviction that, doing so is safer devoid of risks and will not endanger the lives of our young girls who are in harm’s way.
"There will be no rest till the last girl, whether from Chibok and Dapchi, is released. The girls, like all our citizens, must enjoy unhindered freedom and pursue their legitimate aspirations,” President Buhari had said.
The kidnap of the Dapchi schoolgirls mirrors the abduction of 276 from Chibok on April 14, 2014.
The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) advocacy group has been clamouring for the rescue of Dapchi and Chibok girls and other captives in Boko Haram custody.
Over 164 Chibok girls have so far returned home following negotiations between the federal government and the terrorists; with 112 still in Boko Haram custody.