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Boko Haram returned Nigeria’s abducted schoolgirls to their parents

Chibok Schoolgirls released by Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram.

LAGOS—Boko Haram Islamists terror group that kidnapped more than 100 schoolgirls in Dapchi, in northeast Nigeria about seven weeks ago, has returned the students to the town, according to some parents of the students on Wednesday.

“The girls have been brought back. They were brought in nine vehicles and dropped outside the school at about 8:00 am (0700 GMT),” said Bashir Manzo, who leads a group set up to support parents whose children were abducted.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian government has denied that it paid ransom for girls’ release

President Muhammadu Buhari administration has been heavily blamed for the slow in quashing the jihadist sect which has continued to negatively impact the lives of rural Nigerians.

In a strongly worded statement, the government said “no ransoms were paid” in the release of dozens of schoolgirls kidnapped a month ago by Boko Haram extremists.

Authorities say 76 of the 110 schoolgirls are confirmed freed but that the release is “ongoing.”

Nigeria’s information minister says the girls were released “through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country, and it was unconditional.”

Eyewitnesses in Dapchi town say the extremists drove into town before dawn and dropped off the girls with a warning: “Don’t ever put your daughters in school again.”

The Islamic sect, Boko Haram militants, has issued an ominous and repeated warning to the parents of the Nigerian schoolgirls after releasing the girls in the town where they were abducted a month ago.

Several international organizations have blamed the Nigerian government for the abductions of the schoolgirls and multiple sources including Amnesty International point direct figures at the government’s failure to act.  But the Nigerian military is dismissing as “outright falsehood” an Amnesty International report that claims security forces were warned several times ahead of a mass abduction of 110 schoolgirls last month.

On Tuesday, Amnesty International cited sources including security officials and witnesses who said military and police received at least five calls hours before the attack. The forefront human rights group said no lessons had been learned from Chibok and have therefore urged Nigeria’s government to make public its investigation into the new attack in Dapchi town.

John Agim, Nigeria’s acting director of defense information, maintains that no security force was informed of the mass abduction.

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Dave Okonjie

Dave Okonjie is a public affairs analyst, researcher and senior issues correspondent.
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