What Buhari told 82 freed Chibok Girls

Nigerian journalists gathered at State House, the president's official residence in Abuja, to see President Muhammadu Buhari welcome the 82 Chibok schoolgirls who were released from being held captive by Boko Haram for more than three years.

A military source said one of the girls was "carrying a baby with her, a boy of less than two years".

The Federal Government will like to commend the Security Agencies, the Red Cross, local authorities, local and foreign NGOs and all those who contributed in one way or another to secure the release of our Chibok Girls. A handful of other girls have either escaped or been rescued, but 113 still remained unaccounted for following Saturday's release.

Almost 200 of the schoolgirls had remained captive after the first negotiated release of 21 girls in October.

Service Chiefs and many top government officials were also at the meeting, the reporter said.

Last year, 21 other Chibok girls were liberated in October and they have been undergoing counseling for months.

It would be recalled that a total of 276 girls were abducted from Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, in Borno State on April 14, 2014 while preparing to sit for their final exams.

The 82 girls were released to global negotiators who have been working in collaboration with the Federal government for their safe return since they were kidnapped in April 2014.

The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaign group has described the recent release of 82 Chibok girls from the captivity of Boko Haram as heart warming.

The Nigerian government has declared victory in the fight against Boko Haram, but the group continues to operate in many rural parts of the country's northeast.

Five Boko Haram commanders have been released in exchange for the freedom of 82 Chibok schoolgirls, says a Nigerian government official.

"They will face a long and hard process to rebuild their lives after the indescribable horror and trauma they have suffered at the hands of Boko Haram", she said.

This is a very very good and exciting news. Two others walked into freedom on their own, making 105 girls out of the Boko Haram clutches.

Boko Haram, which a year ago pledged loyalty to Islamic State, has kidnapped hundreds of men, women and children in its campaign to carve out a medieval Islamist caliphate.

"UNICEF calls on Boko Haram to end all grave violations against children, especially the abduction of children and the sexual abuse and forced marriage of girls". Then-first lady Michelle Obama tweeted a picture of herself holding a placard with the #BringBackOurGirls appeal.

  • Leroy Wright