The Nigerian government said the number of Dapchi schoolgirls released on Wednesday has increased from 76 to 101, following the documentation of more of the freed girls by security agencies.
The country’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who gave the update in a statement issued in Abuja, said that the number could still increase as the documentation of the freed girls was ongoing.
Mohammed had in an earlier statement confirmed the release of 76 of the 110 abducted students of Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe on February 19.
The minister said that the release of the schoolgirls was the outcome of the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to all security agencies to do everything possible to secure the release of the schoolgirls.
He said the girls were released around 3am through backchannel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country, and that it was unconditional.
“For the release to work, the government had a clear understanding that violence and confrontation would not be the way out as it could endanger the lives of the girls, hence a non-violent approach was the preferred option.
“Within the period when the girls were being brought back, operational pause was observed in certain areas to ensure free passage and also that lives were not lost,” he said.
Meanwhile, a government delegation comprising ministers of information and interior as well as minister of state for foreign affairs visited Maiduguri to meet with the freed girls.