Nigeria's leader leaves for London health checks after meeting freed girls

Boko haram Chibok girls

The campaign for the release of the almost 300 Chibok schoolgirls seized three years ago by Boko Haram says it is glad Nigeria's government is committed to freeing the 113 girls still unaccounted for.

Islamist militant group Boko Haram released 82 Chibok schoolgirls who were kidnapped by the organisation three years ago.

The lawmaker while speaking with Vanguard said, "The swap commanders are five, and not two as reported".

"The Federal Government will like to commend the Security Agencies, the Red Cross, local authorities, local and foreign NGOs and all those who contributed in one way or another to secure the release of our Chibok Girls".

Their release comes less than a month after the third anniversary of the abduction of 276 girls from the Chibok boarding school in northeastern Nigeria on the evening of April 14, 2014.

The presidency announced late on Saturday that months of talks with the jihadists had "yielded results" about six months after 21 other Chibok girls were freed with the help of global mediators.

One of his advisers, Femi Adesina, said: "The president was delighted to receive them and he promised that all that is needed to be done to reintegrate them into the society will be done".

The ICRC said it had acted as a neutral intermediary to transport the freed girls into Nigerian government custody.

In Focus Boko Haram not only problem for president Buhari
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

Some parents did not live long enough to see their daughters released, underscoring the tragedy of the three-year saga. Numerous captive girls, majority Christians, were forced to marry their captors and give birth to children in remote forest hideouts without knowing if they would see their parents again.

Buhari late past year announced Boko Haram had been "crushed", but the group continues to carry out attacks in northern Nigeria and neighbouring countries. It is feared that other girls were strapped with explosives and sent on missions as suicide bombers.

The girls were flown from the Borno state capital Maiduguri where they spent the night after their release from a town near the Cameroon border.

Long-suffering family members said they were eagerly awaiting a list of names and their "hopes and expectations are high".

Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau claimed in a video message that they had converted to Islam. On Friday, the United States and Britain issued warnings that the extremist group was actively planning to kidnap foreigners in an area of Borno state "along the Kumshe-Banki axis".

"This is a very, very exciting news for us that we have over 80 of our girls coming back again", Bukky Shonibare with the #BringBackOurGirls campaign told Sky TV.

It was not immediately clear whether the newly freed girls would join them.

Amnesty International's Nigeria office said the girls should not have to endure a lengthy government detention or a "publicity stunt" but instead should be given privacy to recover. Militants have killed more than 20,000 people, forced over 2.5 million to be displaced and adbucted thousands of women, forcing them into sexual slavery or marriages with its fighters.




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