Nigerian president Buhari heads for London after meeting Chibok girls

May 08, 2017, 16:07
Nigerian president Buhari heads for London after meeting Chibok girls

Also reacting, the Borno Elders Forum described reports of the release of 82 Chibok school girls from the Boko Haram insurgents as a good omen.

The 82 schoolgirls released by Islamist militant group Boko Haram on Saturday have met Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja Sunday.

The lawmaker while speaking with Vanguard said, "The swap commanders are five, and not two as reported".

Photos released by the government showed the rail-thin president standing and addressing the Chibok schoolgirls at his official residence Sunday evening, a day after their release. The negotiators never gave up, the negotiators will continue for the next set after the one secured are made public.

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"But the truth is that some of the girls are just not willing to come back; I don't know whether they really wanted to remain behind or they're under the influence of something".

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which along with the Swiss government has mediated negotiations between Nigeria's government and Boko Haram, said the girls soon would meet with their families.

"Let me reassure Nigerians, especially relatives and friends of the remaining girls that the Federal Government will spare no effort to see that they and all other Nigerians who have been abducted safely regain their freedom", he said. It is the second group release; Nigeria announced in October that 21 girls had been freed after negotiations with the extremists.

Secretary of the forum, Dr Mali Gubio told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri that credit must go to President Muhammad Buhari. May 6, 2017: Nigeria's government says another 82 schoolgirls are released. Almost 300 schoolgirls from Chibok were abducted by Boko Haram in 2014, which brought the Islamist organisation associated with the Islamic State (ISIS) to the worldwide fore. It is feared that other girls were strapped with explosives and sent on missions as suicide bombers.

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A Nigerian military official with direct knowledge of the rescue operation said the freed girls were found near the town of Banki in Borno state near Cameroon.

As news of the latest release broke, long-suffering family members said they are eagerly awaiting a list of names and their "hopes and expectations are high".

Though Boko Haram has abducted thousands of people during its eight-year insurgency that has spilled across Nigeria's borders, the Chibok mass kidnapping horrified the world and brought the extremist group global attention.

Amnesty International's Nigeria office said the girls should not have to endure a lengthy government detention or a "publicity stunt" but instead should be given privacy to recover. Militants have killed more than 20,000 people, forced over 2.5 million to be displaced and adbucted thousands of women, forcing them into sexual slavery or marriages with its fighters.

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Buhari late previous year announced Boko Haram had been "crushed", but the group continues to carry out attacks in northern Nigeria and neighboring countries.

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