The Federal Government has confirmed the release of 82 more Chibok girls believed to be among the 276 girls, ages 16 to 18, forced from their beds by Boko Haram militants in the middle of the night in April 2014.
The confirmation was made in a press statement signed by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President — Media and Publicity and also in a series of tweets on the president’s official handle.
The girls were released on Saturday, May 6, after extensive negotiations with the group. They were exchanged for some Boko Haram suspects held in custody.
The girls are due to arrive in Abuja today, where they would be received by President Buhari, have medical checks and be reunited with their families after being debriefed.
Read the statement below:
“STATE HOUSE PRESS STATEMENT: 82 more #ChibokGirls released
President Muhammadu Buhari is pleased to announce that negotiations to release more of the #ChibokGirls have yielded results.
Today, 82 more #ChibokGirls were released.
After lengthy negotiations,our security agencies have taken back these girls, in exchange for some Boko Haram suspects held by the authorities.
The released #ChibokGirls are due to arrive in Abuja tomorrow Sunday May 7, and will be received by the President.
President Muhammadu Buhari expresses his deep gratitude to all who played a part in ensuring the success of this operation, as follows: Security agencies, the military, the Government of Switzerland, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and local and international NGOs.
The President has repeatedly expressed his total commitment towards ensuring the safe return of the #ChibokGirls, and all other Boko Haram captives.
The President has received detailed briefings from the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) at every stage of the negotiations/operation.
Senior Special Assistant to the President — Media and Publicity
May 6, 2017″
Read the tweets from top to bottom.