Mr. Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, confirmed that 105 out of the 110 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from the Government Girl Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, have been released.
According to the government spokesman, the girls who were abducted on 19th February were released alongside a boy, making it 106 persons released by the terrorist group.
“What we have now is 105 girls and a boy; that makes it 106 persons released today”, he said.
The Nigerian government has however not stated the details of their release, but President Muhammadu Buhari’s Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, in a programme of Channel TV, expressed confidence that the girls would be released soon.
The girls were after their release conveyed in buses amidst heavy security from Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State, to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.
One of the schoolgirls identified as, Liya Sharubu, who is believed to have been the 106th girl was however held back in captivity by the insurgence for allegedly refusing to denounce her Christian faith.
According to reports, the girl who was asked to accept Islam and profess it publicly, vehemently refused. Consequently, the group held her back.
Khadija Grema, one of the freed girls, noted that Liya Sharubu, who also refused to wear the hijab like her colleagues while in captivity, was warned that she would be held back if she refuses to accept Islam.
The girl’s mother upon hearing that her daughter was not among those released fainted and had remained in coma.
Bukar Kachalla, the secretary of the abducted Dapchi girl’s parents, confirmed the development to Premium Times, saying that; “It was sad, when we heard that Liya was not released.”
“We were told by the Boko Haram that she was not released because she refused to put on hijab,” he added.
According to the Minister, the Federal Government did not pay any ransom and did not swap any terrorist for the freedom of the girls.
He noted that they were freed unconditionally by the sect out of a moral burden as they breach the ceasefire talks between Boko Haram and federal government.
“It is not true that we paid ransom for the release of the Dapchi girls, neither was there a prisoner swap to secure their release.
“What happened was that the abduction itself was a breach of the ceasefire talks between the insurgents and the government, hence it became a moral burden on the abductors. Any report that we paid ransom or engaged in prisoner swap is false,” he said.