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.

List: Names Of 21 Released Chibok Girls

Chibok GirlsThe Office of the Vice President of Nigeria has released the names of the 21 Chibok girls released by Boko Haram on Thursday.

This was after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and his wife visited the girls at the Department Of State Services (DSS) hospital in Abuja where they have been recuperating.

The Vice President also shared pictures of his visit to the girls in a tweet, with the caption: “Dawn, dusk, almost a 1000 days. Twenty-one of our girls are back. It is my joy to welcome you home. The nation has been waiting for you.”

His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande later shared the names of the girls with the media in a press release.

Below is the list.

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Nigerian Government Promises To Rehabilitate Released Chibok Girls

chibok-girls-release3Nigeria’s Vice President has promised the immediate rehabilitation of the 21 Chibok girls who were released by the Boko Haram sect on Thursday.

Professor Yemi Osinbajo said this after seeing the girls at the Department Of State Services (DSS) office in Abuja.

Instead of waiting for them at the Presidential Villa, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo found his way to the SSS hospital where the girls are recuperating.

He arrived about 6.30pm with his wife and started by offering prayers for the released girls.

He said that the whole country had been waiting for them to be released and that he came to ensure that they were in good hands to start with.

The Director-General of the SSS, Lawal Daura and the chief medical officer of the hospital, Dr Ann Okoroafor, told the Vice President that a special arrangement has been put in place to ensure that the girls get back to life.

The DSS called them out one after the other beginning with Mary Usman. All of them looked frail, with one of them clutching her baby.

The Vice President, who promised to get the girls back to school as soon as possible said that the federal government would also explore all avenues to ensure that the rest of the girls still in Boko Haram camps were released.

He pledged the readiness of the government to rehabilitate the girls physically and mentally while waiting for their parents to join them.

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The Spokesman for the President, Garba Shehu, earlier on Thursday, confirmed that 21 out of the Chibok girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram militants, had been released.

According to Mr Shehu, 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.

President Muhammadu Buhari, speaking at the airport just before takeoff to Germany on an official visit, described the release of the 21 Chibok girls as a confirmation of his determination to secure all Nigerians where ever they are.

There had been reports in the media that four Boko Haram members were released in exchange for the girls’ release but the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has since debunked the reports.

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He told journalists in Abuja that the release secured by the government is 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.

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.

 

#BBOG Group Praises Military Over Release Of 21 Chibok Girls

BBOG, Military, Ezekwesili, #BBOG, Oby Ezekwesili, Chibok GirlsThe #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 the President on Thursday, confirmed that 21 out of the Chibok girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram militants, have been released.

 

Delta State To Establish Investment Development Agency

Ifeanyi Okowa, Niger Delta, Delta StateDelta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has disclosed that the Delta State Investment Development Agency would soon be established to harness investment potentials in the state.

The Governor stated this when he received on courtesy visit, the Swiss Consular General, Yves Nicolet, at the Government House, Asaba.

He said that the state’s Investment Development Agency amendment Bill which was before the House Of Assembly for approval would enable the agency to liaise with the organised private sector, embassies and investors to utilise the investment opportunities and grow the state economy.

Governor Okowa commended the Consular-General on the visit and assured him of the state’s readiness to partner with Swiss companies and investors to develop the state economy.

He described Delta State as the economic hub of the South- South region with the best enabling investment environment.

Earlier, Mr Yves Nicolet told Governor Okowa that he was in the state to explore its economic potentials, stressing that the Swiss government was interested in improving the bi-lateral trade relationship with Nigeria and diversifying its investments to other states apart from Lagos.

162 Nigerians Return From Libya

Libya162 Nigerians stranded in Libya have voluntarily returned to the country.

The returnees comprising 132 males, 27 females and 3 children arrived the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos on Thursday aboard an airbus A320 aircraft.

Two of the returnees, who were in critical condition were immediately taken to hospital for medical attention.

According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the return was facilitated by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Swiss government and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya.

FG Welcomes Swiss Offer To Repatriate $321m Abacha Loot

Yemi-OsinbajoThe Federal Government has welcomed an offer of the Swiss government to return $321m stolen funds from Nigeria under the Abacha government.

This was contained in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande.

The statement added that the Federal Government “is now developing a framework that will aid the repatriation of such stolen assets starched abroad by those who have looted from the country’s resources in the past”.

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), made this disclosure today at the Presidential Villa, Abuja during a meeting with a Swiss delegation led by the country’s Federal Councillor and Head of its Foreign Affairs Department, Mr. Didier Burkhalter and the Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Eric Mayoruz.

“We guarantee that recovered assets would be put to uses for which they have been intended,” according to the Vice President who explained that the framework being developed would ensure exactly that.

Prof. Osinbajo said the framework once finalized will be made available publicly, and it would cover the whole spectrum from the source of the stolen asset to how it would be managed once recovered.

He said “the framework will guarantee that returned assets will be used in the interest of the people of this country.”

Commending the Swiss government on its assistance in repatriating the country’s stolen assets, the Vice President said the federal government appreciates the Swiss government for their very laudable efforts, noting that the “Swiss has always been at the forefront of returning stolen assets and ensuring that the people of Nigeria gets the benefit.”

Later the Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), signed an agreement described as a “Letter of Intent” between the Swiss government and the Nigerian government on the restitution of illegally-acquired assets forfeited in Switzerland.

Mr. Burkhalter signed the letter for the Swiss government.

Under the agreement the Swiss government will award to Nigeria $321m “of funds illicitly acquired by the Abacha family, initially deposited in Luxembourg and confiscated by the Judiciary of the Republic and Canton of Geneva pursuant to a Forfeiture order dated 11th December 2014.”