The release was the outcome of negotiations between the Nigerian government and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.
President Muhammadu Buhari has also said his government would sustain efforts to free the remaining girls, kidnapped by the jihadist group.
“About 100 more (girls) are still in the hands of the terrorists,” Buhari told reporters in Berlin after a meeting with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. “We hope we’ll get some … intelligence to go about securing the balance.”
Nigeria’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.
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.
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.
Proprietors of private schools in Yobe State have sought the partnership of governments at all level to re-position education in the state.
The appeal comes as part of the post-insurgency activities to revive the state after facing serious threat during the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria.
Chairman of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools in Yobe State, Mr John Onyeama, made the call in a chat with Channels Television.
He was speaking on Thursday after a forum of schools represented by pupils of nursery and primary schools as well as secondary school students organised by the association in Damaturu, the state’s capital.
The forum is aimed at bringing the pupils and students together with a view to inculcating the usual academic interactions among school age children.
Mr Onyeama observed with admiration, the return of peace across the state and the northeast region and stated that the association would work assiduously towards revamping the education sector.
He recalled that four public schools were attacked with at least 100 lives lost, while eight other private schools in the state were burnt by the Boko Haram insurgents.
The proprietor pointed out that insurgency had caused major setback for educational development in Yobe State and the region.
In his response, the Director of Schools at the State Primary Education Board, Mr Bukar Dapchi, commended the roles of private schools in the development of education in the state.
He said that modern education is above the scope of government and called on private bodies and other stakeholders to compliment the efforts of government in revamping the sector.
The 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.
The #BringBackBackOurGirls Campaign Group has welcomed news of the release of the Chibok girls while praising the military for the efforts so far.
In a statement jointly signed by co-conveners of the movement, Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu, the group said that the “wonderful development” confirms what it has always known about the activity of the government to rescue the Chibok girls.
The group said that while it awaits further details, it salutes the work of the nation’s security services at the front lines: its commitment, resilience and tireless efforts of the members of the Multi-National Joint Task Force and the Civilian JTF.
The group also thanked the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Swiss government and all negotiators involved in securing the release.
It, however, urged the international community to continue to support the government’s effort to rescue all other abducted Nigerians, so that parents, the Chibok community, the nation, and the world at large can finally put an end to the nightmare once and for all.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Public Relations Officer for NEMA, Sani Datti said in a statement that “Eight persons lost their lives, while 15 others who sustained injuries have been taken to specialist and teaching hospitals”.
The suicide bomber reportedly joined a cab before detonating the IED killing herself and other occupants.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer in Borno State, Victor Isuku, the ill-fated cab was about joining the convoy of hundreds of vehicles to be escorted by security operatives to the border town of Gamboru Ngala when the explosion occurred.
A witness at the Muna garage area, Adamu Garba said the vehicle had already made moves to join the convoy when the explosion occurred.
“The car appeared to be coming from custom area towards the garage,” he said
Describing the scene, he said he was trying to park his vehicle when he heard a loud bang.
“We all went flat on the ground. When we got up, we just saw pieces of human parts everywhere and a newborn baby whose mother had obviously died so we picked the child and sought help for the injured”.
Gamboru is an economically strategic town as it borders Central and North Africa from the northeast region of the country.
In 2015, the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, had killed at least 10 people in a town in northeast Nigeria, two security sources confirmed to Reuters.
The Nigerian Air Force says it will embark on “Operation Forest Storm”, targeted at the Boko Haram insurgents identified in the Sambisa Forest.
The force expressed delight at the great results recorded in its current battle of wiping out the insurgents in Nigeria’s Northeast region.
As the war against the dreaded terrorists rages on, the Air Force said its officials have recorded tremendous success, especially in the Sambisa Forest in Borno State.
Air Force Chief of Training and Operations, Air Vice Marshall Ahmed Iya, made the disclosure on Wednesday during an interview with reporters at the Air Force Base in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.
He said the operations followed investigations indicating that recent Boko Haram activities had been noticed in some places in Nigeria’s Northeast region.
Air Vice Marshall Iya asked Nigerians not to panic as a result of the operation, saying it was aimed at curtailing the Boko Haram menace in the region.
He further revealed that the special operation would last for few days and would not only be conducted in the north, but extended to the south considering the activities of the militants of the Niger Delta region.
Iya also pledged that the Air Force would do everything possible to bring an end to the activities of insurgence in Nigeria.
Recently, the Nigerian Air Force successfully reconfigured another alpha jet for combat role.
The alpha jet has been reconfigured to carry both rockets and bombs during combat missions.
The alpha jet has been reconfigured to carry both rockets and bombs during combat missions.
Boko Haram terrorist group has attacked communities in the northeast in its over six years campaign for an Islamic State and an end to Western education in the region.
The group that has retreated from communities it had taken control of due to heightened counter-terrorism operation now sees Sambisa forest as a safe haven.
Activities of the group in the past years have led to the death of thousands and displaced over two million persons in the region.
The Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Geidam, says the state will require 12 billion Naira to rebuild structures destroyed by insurgent group, Boko Haram.
The Governor gave the figure on Saturday, when he received the Minister Of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Alhassan, who was on an advocacy visit to the state.
With the return of peace in the state, the Governor said majority of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have returned to their ancestral homes while 3,000 were still being catered for at the official camp in the state.
The Minister of Women Affairs said she was in the state to ensure the well-being of the IDPs, as well as fact finding on the social protection programme of the Buhari administration.
She also highlighted that in the course of her visit, she would interact with the IDPs, with a view to discovering if there were issues of violation against women and children in the camps.
On the funds required for the rehabilitation, Governor Gaidam told the Minister that the process had gone beyond the financial capacity of the state.
He called on the Federal Government to assist the state in actualising the rehabilitation of the insurgency ravaged areas.
The Governor, however, praised the macro finance scheme policy of the Buhari administration; saying it would go a long way in benefiting the women folk and the less privileged.
Senator Aisha further stated that it was one of the priorities under the administration, to provide a macro finance scheme to the tune of 1.6 billion Naira.
This according to her, would be shared among benefiting women in the state while benefiting states would receive 200 million Naira.
Major General Lucky Irabor has dismissed doubts over claims that Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau is dead.
He insisted that the individual originally identified as Shekau has indeed been killed.
He said this during a tour of Adamawa State as part of the formations under his command.
“I can confirm to you that the original Shekau was killed, the second Shekau was killed, and the man presenting himself as Shekau, I can also confirm to you that few days ago, he was wounded. We are yet to confirm whether he is dead or not”.
He further said that the Army does not make statements that are not based on facts.
The General, who is also the commander of the ‘Operation Lafiya dole’, said the Nigerian troops fighting insurgency in the northeast, will continue the military operations until the last terrorist is taken out.
He also mentioned that there had been division amongst the Boko Haram as a result of the constant pressure put on them by the Army.
According to him, “They released videos to prove that they are still active, but that’s just a facade”
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) few days ago recorded another major success in the on-going counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations against the Boko Haram terrorists.
According to him, the current phase of intensified air operations in northern Borno State paid-off on the night of August 19, when the NAF killed about 300 terrorists during an air attack.
The insurgents had gathered to hold a meeting at a location between Malam Fatori and own troops location at Kangarwa, the Air Force said.
Prior to the operations, the Air Force had on August 16 commenced series of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions to corroborate human intelligence that key Boko Haram commanders had gathered at the said location to hold meeting at night.
The NAF revealed the achievements on Tuesday in a statement by its Director of Public Relations and Information, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa.
He said that the objective of the ongoing operation was to degrade the capability of the insurgents, particularly those who had fled to the northern part of Borno State.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Air Force said it had killed some key leaders of Boko Haram and wounded many others, including the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, during an airstrike on Friday in Taye Village, Borno State.
A statement by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, said: “We have just confirmed that as a result of the interdiction efforts of the Nigerian Air Force, some key leaders of the Boko Haram terrorists have been killed while others were fatally wounded”.