After Years in Captivity, Nigeria Welcomes Back Kidnapped Chibok Schoolgirls

Recall that Boko Haram members in 2014 abducted more than 200 secondary school girls of Government Girls' Secondary School, Chibok, Borno.

Buhari said this while formally receiving the rescued girls behind closed doors at his official residence inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Nigerian government said it was committed to securing the release of all hostages held by Boko Haram.

Negotiations for the girls' release were made more complicated by the splintering of the Islamist group into two factions, with each holding captives, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said last month.

In a statement late on Saturday night, the Nigerian government thanked Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross for helping to release the girls after "lengthy negotiations".

"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.

The release follows negotiations with the terror group, which would see the release of some militants suspects held by authorities.

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Although the kidnapping of the Chibok girls caught global attention, Boko Haram has kidnapped thousands of adults and children.

Photographs released by the ICRC showed a line of girls wearing vests emblazoned with the charity's logo waiting to board a military helicopter.

Buhari said: "No human being should go through this kind of ordeal".

"UNICEF has a comprehensive plan to help children who have been affected by the conflict in the Lake Chad Basin and works with national authorities to support hundreds of children and women who have escaped or been released by Boko Haram".

The girls arrived at Abuja airport and were driven away in a military convoy. They have been indoctrinated and even forced to fight for Boko Haram.

The audacious kidnapping brought the insurgency to world attention, triggering global outrage that galvanised support from the former USA first lady Michelle Obama and Hollywood stars. He emphasized, though, that he considered all 82 of the girls to be his daughters "because majority worship in my church". It has put tremendous pressure on Nigeria's government to counter the extremist group, which has roamed large parts of the north and into neighbouring countries.

"We are exceedingly delighted by this good news that has been long awaited following last October when upon the release of our 21 #ChibokGirls, our federal government promised that; another 83 was being negotiated to be released very soon".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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