Nigeria’s Buhari meets 82 freed schoolgirls


He noted that the release of this “massive number” was an indication that the Federal Government and its partners had the capacity to release the remaining girls. Buhari has left Nigeria for health checkups in London, less than two months after an extended break in the United Kingdom for medical treatment. The exact nature of his illness remained unclear.

The statement read: “President Buhari is pleased to announce that negotiations to release more of the Chibok Girls have bore fruit with the release of 82 more girls today after months of patient negotiations”.

They were the first to be freed following talks between the government and the militant group. The vice president will be in charge.

President Muhammadu Buhari has described the release of 82 Chibok girls as a “pleasant second anniversary gift to Nigerians“.

Mr Buhari would have left earlier on Sunday to London but wanted to receive the schoolgirls, his spokesman Femi Adesina said. He met with the girls at his official residence.

“He promised that the presidency will personally supervise their rehabilitation”.

“Three years is not three days”, he said.

Three other girls have also been found.

At the meeting, the president welcomed the girls in the capital city of Abuja and said: “I can not express in a few words how happy I am to welcome our dear girls back to freedom”.

After he became president, Buhari pledged that his government would do all it could to rescue the girls, including exchanges, said Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed in a statement Monday, calling the criticism insensitive.

He reassured that the administration would continue to work assiduously to end all Boko Haram hostilities.

Eighty-two Chibok schoolgirls were released from Boko Haram insurgents on Saturday, according to Nigerian officials, a major development in the case of the Islamist group’s most famous victims, the teenagers whose kidnapping inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement.

In Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, anxious families were awaiting the official list of names of the 82 schoolgirls freed.

They are expected to see their families but be kept in government care for counseling and medical treatment.

The confirmation yesterday comes a day after the young women were liberated after more than three years in captivity by the Islamic militants.

Boko Haram fighters stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in the remote town of Chibok on the evening of April 14, 2014, and kidnapped 276 girls.

“However, I encourage that we must all not rest on our oars until the remaining girls still in captivity are released, so that we can finally have a closure on this sad chapter of our country’s history”, he said.

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