Kidnapped Nigerian Girls Returned
Over one hundred schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in Dapchi, northeastern Nigeria, have been freed.
They arrived home on Sunday, aboard five buses, where they were greeted by their families at the boarding school from which they were taken five weeks ago.
They were released on Wednesday, and then spent three days in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, where they met with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari reportedly told the girls: “To the rescued students, we want to assure you as our daughters that you will freely live and pursue your dreams in Nigeria, without fear of violence or molestation.”
Buhari’s government said that they secured the release of the kidnapped girls through “back-channel efforts”.
The government said that they did not swap captives or pay a ransom for the schoolgirls.
Originally 111 schoolgirls were kidnapped, and five perished, either in the violent hostage-taking or later in the trucks that took them away.
One schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, remains captive, reportedly because she refused to convert to Islam from Christianity.
Image: President Buhari with the freed girls [online image] (2018) sourced on 26 March 2018 from https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2018/03/24/muhammadu-buhari_custom-78ae5ec4eccde677d13f05ecb9a8fd504ac40a75-s800-c85.jpg