The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, has revised upwards the number of kidnapped and freed Dapchi schoolgirls.
Insisting that the government neither paid ransom nor engaged in a prisoner swap, the minister disclosed that 107 persons, comprising 105 Dapchi schoolgirls and two non-students were released by the insurgents.
Mohammed stated, “A total of 111 girls were abducted from the GGSTC, Dapchi, on February 19, 2018. That means one student was not captured on the list of the 110 abducted students that was compiled by the school, on the basis of which the Federal Government gave the number of abducted schoolgirls as 110.
“Also kidnapped were two other persons, who are not students of the college. They include a primary schoolboy who came to the school to sell pure (satchet) water and another primary schoolgirl. That brings the total number of abducted persons on that day to 113. Six Dapchi schoolgirls are yet unaccounted for. All efforts will be made to secure their release.”
He added that the insurgents brought the girls back to the location of the kidnapping themselves, following efforts by the government to find long-lasting solutions to the conflict.
The minister further said the insurgents were not attacked when they returned the girls to Dapchi because the government had been in cessation-of-hostility talks with them for some time.