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After 118 days in Boko Haram captivity 82 Chibok girls freed

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•We are not aware of release – DHQ
There were indications, last night, that 82 of the more than the 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, in April 2014,  may have been released.

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An online medium, SaharaReporters, broke the news of the girls’ release which was confirmed by a top official of the Buhari administration who did not want to be named.

Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) said it was not aware of the schoolgirls’ release.

“I have not heard that. I am just hearing it from you”, the Director of Defence, Major General John Enenche, told Sunday Vanguard when contacted for the confirmation of the release of the girls.

The SaharaReporters report said the release of the 82 girls came after further negotiations between the Islamist group and the Buhari administration.

The released girls were said to be in Banki, Borno State awaiting airlift to an unknown destination.

The report added that once the girls were secured in a new location, they would be debriefed, undergo a psychological and medical test and then be reunited with their families.

The release, if confirmed, came 118 days after the girls were taken from their domitory while writing their final West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Chibok town on April 14, 2014. The kidnapping happened under the immediate past Jonathan administration.

In October 2016, 21 of the girls had been freed by Boko Haram after negotiations between the group and the Nigerian government brokered by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government.

But told that the story of the release of the new batch of the girls was already online, yesterday, the DHQ spokesperson, Enenche said: “Well, SaharaReporters is not my source. I don’t have any correspondent from SaharaReporters. The people I have on ground have not told me that.”

Reminded that the online platform quoted military source for its information, he asked: “Which military source? They don’t have military source than me.”

He spoke further: “I have not heard about it; even if you have, it’s better you confirm their identity.

“ How many people have been released by Boko Haram?   So many people, so it’s better we confirm their identity.

“From me, there’s nothing like that so far. SaharaReporters has put people into so many confusion in this country. That’s the truth of the matter.

“But like I said, I have not heard that. If I had, I would have told my Chief of Defence Staff and other Service Chiefs. But there’s nothing like that.”

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