Presidency Confirms Rescue Of Another Chibok Girl

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adeshina, on Wednesday affirmed the rescue of  another Chibok schoolgirl days after the release of the 82 abducted girls by their captors.

Earlier, Ag. President Yemi Osinbajo had hinted the recovery of the girl during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday.

Speaking to State House correspondents in Abuja, Mr. Adeshina said that the affected girl has been brought to Abuja to join her colleagues who were rescued from captivity.

“Yes, at the Federal Executive Council’s meeting, the Vice-President broke the cheering news to members of the cabinet and after that I have also spoken to defence people who confirmed it.

“The details are yet to fully unravel . But in terms of is it true- yes, it is true. I learnt she is already being brought to Abuja, but I have not seen her,” said Adeshina.

He however expressed hope that the remaining Chibok schoolgirls and other Nigerians in captivity would soon be rescued.

Speaking further, Mr. Adeshina denied the claim that Boko Haram members are regrouping in Sambisa forest, saying that the Federal Government has the capacity to confront any security challenge arising from any part of the country.

His words: “One thing you can be sure of is that this government has the capacity to confront any security challenge that arises.

“So, if they are regrouping they will be flushed out again.

“I believe that we have seen the worst of that insurgency. We are in a mopping up process and I believe the mop up would be completed.’’

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#BringBackOurGirls Movement Disowns Purported Chibok Girls Endowment Project

“Official Inauguration and Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Chibok Girls Endowment Project”

Following repeated enquiries from the media, we stumbled upon information of an event tagged “Official Inauguration and Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Chibok Girls Endowment Project” organised by the “Peace Corps of Nigeria” and “Africa Support and Empowerment Initiative”, with Hadiza Buhari-Bello.

We are shocked, perplexed and completely dumbfounded to see the bold inscription of our hard-earned name, #BringBackOurGirls, on the event’s backdrop. We state categorically that we are not party to the said event and have absolutely no information of its origin. We urge the general public to disregard attempts at linking our movement to this highly suspicious event.

After 902 days of painstaking advocacy, it is disheartening and unfortunate to suddenly see attempts, by external actors, to use it for selfish purposes. We have carefully built our reputation as a well-organized and disciplined global movement that is completely self-funded.

The deliberate decision, to remain funded by sacrificial contributions of members for our very negligible needs, is the reason we are solely a Citizens’ Movement, and not an NGO. It will be highly injurious to allow it be dragged in the mud at this point. We therefore demand an immediate retraction and unreserved apology from the organizers.

Together with our lawyers, Femi Falana & Co., we are considering a response to this attempt to smear our movement. We call on the general public and law enforcement agencies to be on the look-out for unscrupulous persons who may already be/are planning similar nefarious acts to deceive the local and international community.


For #BringBackOurGirls


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VIDEO: Tears Of Joy As Chibok Girls Reunite With Their Families

It was all emotions on Sunday as the the 21 kidnapped Chibok girls who regained their freedom earlier in the week attended a thanksgiving service organised for them.

As the service was going on, parents of the girls arrived the venue forcing tears down the eyes of almost everyone, particularly the girls and their parents.

In this video shared by Williams Adeleye, the parents of the girls are seen expressing emotions in ways best known to them.

In one of them, a mother could be seen carrying her daughter on her back to express joy at being reunited with her.

Watch the video below:

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My Daughter Was Pregnant Before Her Abduction, Chibok Father Says

The father of Deborah Jafaru, who returned from Boko Haram captivity with a baby, has explained the paternity of his grandchild.

He spoke on Sunday at a thanksgiving organised by the Federal Government during which the 21 Chibok girls freed on Thursday last week were reunited with their families.

According to him, his daughter was already pregnant before she was abducted with others on April 14, 2014.

Hear him: “Unlike the others, Deborah had already finished her secondary school; she did not make her papers and returned to rewrite her WASCE when she was taken.

“She just got married two weeks before returning for her papers and they took her.

“Her husband has remarried now.

“They abducted her with pregnancy and she had my grandchild there but I’m just grateful to God and the government for returning my daughter and grandchild to me safely.

“Words cannot describe how I feel at the moment.”

Deborah is the only one among the girls who returned with a baby.

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Chibok Girl Narrates Experience In Boko Haram Captivity

Gloria Dame, one of the 21 Chibok girls released by Boko Haram last week, has revealed that the abductees were, at a time, without food for a total of one month and 10 days.

Dame made this revelation on Sunday while giving a testimony on behalf of her colleagues at a thanksgiving service organised for them at the health facility of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja.

“I did not know that a day like this will come that we will be dancing and giving thanks to God among people,” she said in Hausa.

“For one month and 10 days, we stayed without food. I narrowly escaped bomb blast in the forest.

“We are praying to God to touch the heart of Boko Haram to repent and we are calling on Nigerians to pray and fast for the release of our remaining ones in captivity.”

The service was in progress when parents of the freed girls arrived the venue, and they were reunited with their loved ones after more than two years of their abduction.

With the arrival of the parents, the environment was charged with emotion and tears of joy.

The parents took turns to address the congregation and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and all Nigerians for their efforts and prayers towards the rescue of their daughters.

Yaga Yarakawa, chairman of Chibok local government council, described the release of the girls as “historic”, saying: “Before their abduction, I was involved in supervising their feeding, which was organised by the Borno State Secondary Schools Feeding System. So I know them very well.

“These are the real girls and you could see when their parents came; you see their joy, it manifest naturally.

“This is enough to tell you that it is a reality and anybody who says different things or is doubting, maybe the person has a different agenda altogether.”

He appealed to the government to put all necessary machinery in place to ensure the release of the other girls.

Yakubu Nkeki, chairman of Abducted Chibok Girls’ Parents Association, thanked the president for the release of the girls.

“From the physical looks of the girls, it was obvious that they were not radicalised as claimed by some people,” he said, and also debunked claims that many of the girls were pregnant.

The service was attended by Lai Mohammed, minister of information and cultur, and Aisha Alhassan, minister of women affairs.


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Boko Haram Sets Conditions To Free 83 More Chibok Girls

As negotiations for the expected next phase of the release of 83 Chibok girls begins this week, there were indications, last night, that the leadership of the Boko Haram sect might table two major conditions to be met by the Federal Government to seal the deal.

Vanguard reports that a source close to the negotiation stated that unlike the 21 girls, who were freed by the sect, last Thursday, to test government’s level of commitment and sincerity, the release of the remaining girls may be based strictly on ransom payment and freedom for no fewer than 16 of Boko Haram commanders by the government.

The government, it was learnt, was eager to get the remaining 83 girls, reportedly held by a top leader of the sect in an undisclosed location in the North East.

Of the 219 girls still missing, a source said that only 104 were left in the captivity of the sect while the rest had long been married off by top commanders and converted to Islam.

READ: 114 Chibok Girls Feared Dead, Married off or Radicalised, Sources Claim

“The truth is that those Chibok girls are now Boko Haram members, having married the sect members and become radicalised,” the source said.

“The remaining 83 girls are with a top leader of Boko Haram and those are the only ones we are going to work for their release in the next phase of our negotiations which starts immediately.

“The others had since become Boko Haram members, having been married off and radicalised into Boko Haram as soon as they were captured over two years ago”.

It was learnt that the representatives of the sect, who are meeting with a Federal Government team, might insist on payment upfront of huge cash by government before freeing the captives.

“I think the guys are settled on the idea that the cash must come ahead of the release since they had proved to government that they are reliable by releasing the 21 girls, last week, without many conditions attached”, the source stated.

READ: Cash Or Prisoners, What Did The Nigeria Govt Swapped For Chiboks Girls?

Asked if the sect leaders were unsure of government’s sincerity to keep its own side of the bargain, the source said that the representatives of Boko Haram had also shown that they have confidence in government.

It was learnt that the lingering challenge in getting back all the girls arose from the fact that while some of them are with a faction loyal to Benawhi, the rest are being kept by the group loyal to Abubakar Shekau.

But one of the negotiators believed the remaining 83 girls would be freed if a meaningful deal is struck between the sect and the Federal Government.

READ: How Nigerian Troops Almost Bungled Release Of Chibok Girls

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114 Chibok Girls Feared Dead, Married off or Radicalised, Sources Claim

Of the roughly 197 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls who still are unaccounted for after Boko Haram militants kidnapped them in Borno State two years ago, about 114 have either died, been married off, or become radicalised and don’t want to leave their Boko Haram kidnappers, sources have said.

Only 83 will be negotiated for when the the Nigerian government resumes talks next week for their release, two sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations told CNN.

Negotiations between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government over the captives are expected to resume Monday, four days after the militant group handed over 21 former Chibok schoolgirls to authorities in northeastern Nigeria.

Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls and women, ages 16 to 18, in the middle of the night at a boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria, in April 2014, drawing global outrage.

As many as 57 girls escaped almost immediately in 2014, and one was found months ago.

If the sources are correct about the number of dead or otherwise unavailable, that would mean more than 40 per cent of those who were kidnapped in 2014 stand no chance of being brought home alive or no obvious immediate chance of being retrieved through negotiation.

While the Nigerian government has said Boko Haram released the 21 as a result of negotiations brokered by the Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross, it hasn’t said what the militant group may have received in return.

According to CNN, two sources close to the negotiations disclosed that that Boko Haram received money as part of the deal. The sources did not disclose the amount.


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No Disquiet In Military Over Chibok Girls Release – DHQ, Says Operation Against Boko Haram Continues in North-East

the Defence Headquarters yesterday said the release of the girls has not caused disquiet in the military.

It also said the operation in the North-East against Boko Haram insurgents will continue.

The DHQ made the clarifications in a statement by the Acting Director Defence Information Brig.-Gen. Rabe Abubakar.

He said: “The Defence Headquarters attention has been drawn to an online and newspaper publication insinuating that there is a mixed feeling among Nigerian military ranks and files as a result of the recent release of some Chibok girls.

“The military wishes to state unequivocally that the Armed Forces will continue to work closely with all our sister security agencies to achieve more feat in this direction.

“The military also want to debunk the baseless and unfounded story that there is disquiet in the military over the condition of release of the girls.

“The Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies are one working together to finish the war on terror and other criminalities which can be done covertly or overtly.  The most important thing is achieving our strategic objective.

“The DHQ has said before that negotiation with the terrorists or any other group rests purely on our respected political leaders.  The military operations to rid our land of terrorists continue.

“It is important to state that not all information is meant for public consumption due to processes which is purely political.  More so, the ongoing military operation is making unprecedented progress with the rescue of many captives held by the terrorists.  The general public should discountenance with this baseless and misleading story.

“While the Armed Forces hold the media veritable partner, it urges the media to be mindful and clarify with the military when reporting security and defence issues bothering on sensitive national matters of this nature.”

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Chibok Girls Reunite With Families

Parents of the 21 Chibok schoolgirls who were released on Thursday were on their way to   Abuja last night   after an all day journey from Borno State for a reunion with their long missing daughters.

Fathers and mothers are expected to set their eyes on their beloved ones for the first time in over two years in a re-union that is bound to be highly emotional.

The girls are currently in the custody of the Department of State Security (DSS) which, along with the Swiss Government and Maiduguri lawyer Mustapha Zanna, negotiated their release from Boko Haram.

A medical team has been attending to them since their return from custody.

All the girls have spoken with their parents on the phone since their arrival in Abuja.

But the Department of State Security Services (DSS) has restricted access to the girls.

Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume who is from Borno State visited the girls yesterday and broke down in tears on sighting them.

The girls consoled him.

The girls appeared far better than they were when they arrived in Abuja on Thursday.

There was evidence of joy all over them.

And they sang, praising God and thanking Ndume.

“Allah Ya kawo baba mu, mugode Allah”( God has brought our father, we praise the Almighty God) was the theme of their song.

A top source told The Nation that logistics delayed the parents/girls reunion.

“Due to logistics, the 21 girls have not met with their parents. We need to guarantee their safety and make their trip comfortable.  But the parents are in transit (as at 8pm on Saturday) and by Sunday, they will reunite with their children,” the source said.

“So far, all the girls have spoken with their parents and relations on the phone. They are in touch and eager to meet with them.

“The DSS has however restricted access to the girls for strategic reasons. We do not want to make them vulnerable again since they are undergoing rehabilitation.”

Senate Leader Ndume was allowed to meet with the girls between 3pm and 4pm yesterday.

Another source said: “Upon sighting the girls, Ndume wept but the girls milled around consoling him. They were in high spirit.

Speaking with our correspondent last night, Ndume confirmed the audience with the girls.

He said: “I was with them for an hour and I observed that their recovery is rapid. They are looking forward to meeting their parents on Sunday (today).

“We thank the Federal Government for securing the release of these girls. With this development, there is bright light at the end of the tunnel.”

Responding to a question, Ndume said: “There was no sign that the girls were molested or forced to abandon Christianity in captivity.  Gloria, who is their leader led  the  Christian prayer session during my visit.  She offered the prayer in a moving manner and I said ‘you are qualified to be a pastor.’

“They were in good spirit, the medical experts, psychologists and other social workers have done a good job. I am optimistic that they will recover faster.”

A member of the Chibok community who does not want to be named said last night that a thanksgiving service will be held for the safe return of the girls in an undisclosed church in Abuja today.


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How Nigerian Troops Almost Bungled Release Of Chibok Girls

By SaharaReporters

Inter-agency squabbles and a jostling for superiority by the Nigerian army nearly marred the release of 21 Chibok schoolgirls on Thursday, according to tips provided by sources knowledgeable about the complex operation.

One of the sources told SaharaReporters that agents of the Department of State Security (DSS) had concluded the negotiation with Boko Haram fighters to release the first batch of Chibok girl kidnapped by the insurgent Islamist sect in April 2014 and were invited to pick the girls inside Sambisa Forest when the Nigerian Army was contacted to provide cover. Only a few military generals were aware of the entire operation because they coordinated with the DSS to visit Sambisa Forest in the middle of the night. Boko Haram had stipulated that no soldiers could accompany the DSS team that would recover the 21 abducted girls.

However, to be on the safe side, the Nigerian government asked that some well-armed soldiers accompany the DSS officers and some negotiators from the Switzerland government just to be on the safe side.

As planned, and using satellite telephone from the Abuja command center, the DSS officers traveled several miles deep into Sambisa Forest and met with one of the top Boko Haram leaders who brought the 21 girls.

SaharaReporters learned that the negotiations, which called for the government team to drop an undisclosed amount of money, was going well until the Nigerian soldiers in the contingent fired a volley of artillery fire in an apparent effort to claim that they rescued the girls.

The Boko Haram leader involved in the exchange of the abducted girls pleaded with the DSS negotiators to ask the soldiers to stop shooting. Once the soldiers stopped firing, the Boko Haram leader asked the Nigerian contingent to switch on their full headlights. When the lights were turned on, the Boko Haram leader who had come with the girls asked the DSS team to look to their right. The DSS team was stunned to see at least 150 well-armed Boko Haram fighters hidden in the nearby bush ready to strike.

The Boko Haram team then warned the DSS negotiators that they came prepared to die, adding that they suspected that the government team would arrive with the Nigerian army despite the insurgent group’s warning that they did not wish to deal with the army at all.

With nerves calmed, the DSS then dropped the ransom money and took the 21 girls and a baby boy born by one of them and traveled several kilometers to Banki near Cameroon where they put the released girls on a military aircraft.

Our sources disclosed that most military generals did not know about the entire operation. That explained why, after SaharaReporters broke the story of the release of the girls, spokespersons to the Nigerian army at first said it was not true. In a later response, the army told reporters to take whatever came from the Presidency as the update on the condition of Chibok girls.

Another source told our correspondent that the only girl among the rescued girls who is a mother had apparently got pregnant before she was kidnapped in 2014. She later bore a son named Buka Amos.

A Chibok community leader, Zannah Lang confirmed to SaharaReporters that Deborah Ja’afaru had just got married and pregnant when she was kidnapped by Boko Haram fighters in 2014. She delivered her baby boy in custody of Boko Haram until her release on Thursday.

The 21 girls remain under intense medical care at the DSS clinic in Abuja and their parents as expected to meet them on Saturday.

SaharaReporters source said they expect to enter into the next phase of the negotiation with Boko Haram, which would involve the exchange of high profile Boko Haram prisoners.

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Buhari Voices Optimism About Release Of More Chibok Girls

President Muhammadu Buhari has voiced optimism about the release of more Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents on April 14, 2014.

Yesterday, Boko Haram freed 21 of the abducted girls in a swap deal that saw the Nigerian government release four detained members of the Islamist group. The girls’ release came after President Buhari departed Abuja to travel to Germany on a state visit.

In a joint press conference earlier today with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr. Buhari disclosed that his administration would continue negotiations with the Islamist terror group to secure the release of the remaining schoolgirls.

After speaking about the release of 21 schoolgirls, President Buhari noted that more than “100 more are still in the hands of the terrorists somewhere in the Lake Chad Basin area which include Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.

“In getting these 21 out, we hope we will get enough intelligence to go about securing the rest of them.”

Mr. Buhari expressed gratitude to the United Nations for working towards securing the release of the abducted schoolgirls.

He reminded reporters that Boko Haram has killed no fewer than 37,000 Nigerians, adding that Nigeria has about two million people in Internally Displaced Persons camps. According to him, 60 percent of the internally displaced persons are women and children. Mr. Buhari disclosed that 60 percent of displaced children are orphaned.

“This is a major challenge for [the] government,” said Mr. Buhari, explaining that his administration has to provide education and health for the displaced people in addition to returning them to their villages and towns and helping to reintegrate them normal lives.

President Buhari thanked the German government for its humanitarian assistance and support for Nigeria in tackling the effects of terrorism.

Responding to a question about an interview granted by his wife, Aisha Buhari, to the BBC, the Nigerian leader urged his wife and the opposition to appreciate the depth of the problems he met on assumption of office.

He elicited laughter at the press conference when he jokingly said, “I claim superior knowledge compared to [my wife] and the opposition,” mentioning his three failed campaigns for the presidency of Nigeria over a 12-year period before he won on his fourth attempt.

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Chibok Girls: Tinubu Hails Buhari, Says President Won’t Rest Until All Girls Are Set Free

National leader of the All progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday hailed President Muhammadu Buhari over the release of 21 of the Chibok schoolgirls.

Tinubu said he is sure that President Muhammadu Buhari will not rest on his oars until all the Chibok girls in captivity have been rescued.

In a statement by his Media Office, Tinubu said: “The news of the release of the 21 Chibok girls came to me as a delightful relief. I congratulate the families of these young ladies who have endured so much anxiety and pain on account of this horrendous experience. I am also grateful that these budding young stars now have the opportunity to again pursue their dreams and aspirations. I know there is road to recovery and readjustment ahead, but I am confident that the support of their families, our communities,and the assistance of our many collaborators at home, and internationally provide the tools required for this.

“I also congratulate and thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his steadfastness and dogged effort in ensuring the release of these girls. I salute our gallant men and women in uniform who continue to make sacrifices on our behalf and have remained focused in the hot pursuit of the terrorists.

“I commend all Federal Government agencies- the DSS, the NIA- and indeed our lawmakers and our other partners who remained dogged and worked assiduously to secure this release.

“It is a great day for our nation and humanity when as shown there, we demonstrate that every life is vital and must be fought for, no matter what it takes. I know that the joy of this outcome will inspire and encourage the government and all concerned to do everything within human possibility to secure the release of our other daughters who are still in captivity.

“This President, I am assured, will not rest on his oars until all the girls in captivity are freed and returned to their families.  Security and ending the Boko Haram insurgency remains atop the agenda of the APC-led government and I am happy that the evidence is there to see that progress is being made on this front.”

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