Chibok Girls: Presidency Labels Release ‘A Show Of Faith’

Chibok Girls, Boko Haram, PresidencyNigeria’s Presidency has described the release of 21 out of the over 200 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists as ‘a show of faith’ on the part of the insurgents.

Mr Femi Adesina, who is a spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, clears the air on the release which had triggered rumours that it was a swap deal between the Nigerian government and the terrorist group.

He told Channels Television on Friday that the development was a confidence building step that would lead to bigger things.

“I have heard and read so much about what we gave and what we didn’t give.

“This is just a confidence building step that will lead to bigger things.

“In the past, there have been many of such meetings that would have led to releases but along the line, discussions broke down.

“Maybe they (the terrorists) trust the (new) process and they believe that they do this as a show of their trust and faith and believe.

“For now, what we have been told is that there was no swap and the girls were released just as a show of faith, a confidence building measure and I think it is good enough for us to believe,” he said.

“Many More Releases”

Mr Adesina asserted that there would be more releases, describing the freedom of the 21 girls as a giant leap for humanity.

“As we have been told, this is just one step which I will also call a giant leap for humanity.

“You can be sure that there will be many more releases and as many of the girls that are alive would definitely return to their parents,” he said.

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Some of the rescued Chibok girls

End Of Insurgency

The President’s spokesman says the government is winning the war against the dreaded insurgents, stressing that they have been largely degraded.

“They used to attack army formations, police formations, schools (and) different types of target but they don’t do that anymore because their capacity to do that has been largely degraded.

“I think a lot of progress has been made (and) we can simply say we are at the end of this insurgency and this is just the mopping up process,” said Adesina on Sunrise Daily.

At least 200 girls were abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists from their hostels at the Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State on April 14, 2014.

In the heat of the over six-year insurgency, Borno State, in northeast Nigeria became a strong hold of the dreaded insurgents.

Since the abduction of the girls, pressure has been mounted on the Federal Government to rescue them, including demands for a swap with members of Boko Haram in detention.

After much push for the girls’ release, 21 of them were freed on Thursday.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, confirmed the release of the 21 girls.

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Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, confirmed the release of 21 Chibok girls

He stated categorically that the release was not a swap, but was achieved through the collaborative efforts of the security agencies, a friendly European country and a renowned International Humanitarian Organisation.

In their reaction, the #BringBackBackOurGirls Campaign Group welcomed news of the release of the Chibok girls while praising the military for the efforts so far.

The group said in a statement that the “wonderful development” confirmed what was known about the effort of the government to rescue the Chibok girls.

They added that while they await further details, they salute the work of Nigeria’s security services at the front lines and the tireless efforts of members of the Multi-National Joint Task Force and the Civilian JTF.

Chibok Girls’ Release Not A Swap Deal – FG

Boko Haram, Swap Deal, Chibok GirlsThe Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has confirmed the release of 21 girls out of the over 200 school girls abducted from the Government Secondary School, Chibok in April 2014.

The Minister, at a press conference in Abuja stated that the Federal Government secured the release of girls through the collaborative efforts of the security agencies, a friendly European country and a renowned international humanitarian organisation.

The Minister also debunked the reports that four Boko Haram members were released in exchange for the girls’ release.

He said that the release secured by the government was based on confidence and not a swap arrangement with the terrorists group.

“This is not a swap. This was a release which was effected because over time, we succeeded in confidence building.

“This particular release is significant because it’s just a first step in what we believe will lead to the eventual release of all our girls in custody. It is significant also because we have been able to establish more than ever before a confidence in both the leadership of Boko Haram and Nigerians.

“I am not aware of any monetary transaction,” he said.

The names of the girls has been release by the Office of the Vice President, after his visit to the girls at the SSS hospital in Abuja.

Carrot and Stick

The Minister also clarified if the military action against the Boko Haram would seize owing to the release of the girls.

“When you are fighting insurgency, it’s a combination of carrot and stick.‎ The release of these girls does not mean the end to military operations. But it could mean a new phase in the conduct of the war against terror,” he said.

Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Thursday, confirmed the release of the 21 Chibok girls.

He said that the release of the girls, in a limited number, was the outcome of negotiations between the Nigerian government and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.

The Federal Government had since the abduction of the over 200 school girls in 2014 tried several options to secure their release, including the use of military force and negotiations with the Boko Haram group.

President Buhari had in August agreed to the idea of swapping Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls.

However, that was on the condition that the group should be able to list those they wanted released and then come out to discuss with the Federal Government.

 

21 Chibok Girls Released From Boko Haram Clutches

chibok girls, boko haramThe Spokesman for Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, has confirmed that 21 out of the Chibok girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram militants, have been released.

According to a statement by Garba Shehu, (the President’s Spokesman), the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura, has already briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the development.

He said that the release of the girls, in a limited number, is the outcome of negotiations between the administration and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.

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Boko Haram Leader carrying out a mock interview with one of the girls in a third video

The statement added that the President welcomes the release of the girls but cautioned Nigerians to be mindful of the fact that more than 30,000 fellow citizens were killed via terrorism.

The DSS DG told the President that he wanted the girls to have some rest, as all of them have returned very tired as a result of the rescue process, before he hands them over to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

Sources close to the Borno state government told Channels Television that some girls were brought to the Air Force Hospital in Maiduguri.

The girls are said to be undergoing screening to determine their state of health as well as their profile.

Incident Occurred 

On April 14, 2014, over 200 girls were abducted from their hostels at Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno state.

In the heat of the over six-year insurgency, Borno State, in northeast Nigeria became a strong hold of the Boko Haram.

Since the abduction of the girls, pressure has been mounted on the Federal Government to rescue them, including demands for a swap with members of Boko Haram in detention.

UNGA

Although it is yet to be confirmed if an actual swap took place, the news is coming shortly after President Buhari agreed to the idea of swapping Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls in August.

However, that was on the condition that the group should be able to list those they wanted released and then come out to discuss with the Federal Government.

At the recently concluded 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York, the President reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to rescuing the girls.

In his address, he stated that “one of our major aims is to rescue the Chibok girls alive and unharmed”.

The girls’ abduction had raised a world-wide condemnation including the UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon and U.S First Lady Michelle Obama, culminating in the formation of the group, #BringBackOurGirls, that have been at the forefront of pushing for the release of the girls.

Amina_State_HouseOne of the abducted girls, Aminat Ali Nkeki was rescued in May 2016 during a raid on Sambisa forest by the military.

 

 

Proof of Life

Also in August, the terrorist group Boko Haram released a ‘proof of life’ video of the girls.

This was the third in a series of videos released by the group.

The Video showed a gun-toting insurgent, carrying out a mock interview with one of the girls, who is being prompted to ask the government to release imprisoned Boko Haram fighters in return for the girls’ freedom.

Another scene in the video also showed bodies on the ground, which in attempts to spur government reaction, the group claimed were bodies of girls killed by military airstrikes.

The military in reaction to this, countered the claims of the group that about 40 of the girls had been killed in airstrikes during a bombardment by the Air-Force.

Commander of the counter-insurgency war, Major General Lucky Irabor said “It’s only a matter of common sense that those dead bodies shown on the ground there do not even give indication as to the claim which Boko Haram gave,”

The military then warned the outlawed Boko Haram group that they would be punished for killing the girl.

 

Nigerian Female Lawyers Say Working To Secure Chibok Girls’ Release

chibok_girlsThe Federation of Female Lawyers in Nigeria (FIDA) has said it is working with different non-governmental organisations in ensuring the safe return of the Chibok girls.

The release of Nigeria’s Chibok schoolgirls has been a major issue in recent times following claims by the Federal government that a ceasefire deal had been reached with the terrorist group, Boko Haram. Several citizens expected that the girls would be released upon the successful implementation of the deal.

Over 200 school girls had been forcefully taken by members of the sect on April 14, 2014.

However, several quarters have expressed doubt that the cease-fire agreement was never in place, based on several attacks after the announcement, but the #BringBackOurGirls campaign group has continued to express hope that the girls would be rescued.

President of FIDA in Nigeria, Ms. Hausa Shekarau said the group was putting in place measures to facilitate the rehabilitation of the girls when they are returned.

They, however, urged the Federal Government to ensure the safe return of the girls.

Ms. Shekarau was speaking at an event to mark the commencement of the 50th year celebration of FIDA in Nigeria.