Boko Haram Returns 91 Girls Kidnapped In Nigeria But Warns Parents Not To Let Them Return To School

March 21, 2018  |  

Courtesy of Getty: (From left) Fatima Abdu, 14, Zahra Bukar, 13, Fatima Bukar, 13 and Yagana Mustapha, 15, four schoolgirls of Government Girls Technical College, who escaped from Boko Haram attack, sit at home of schoolmate at Dapchi town in northern Nigerian on February 28, 2018. Nigeria’s government on March 1 said it had set up a committee to establish how Boko Haram jihadists managed to kidnap 110 girls from their school in the country’s remote northeast. Members of the militant Islamist group stormed the Government Girls Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe state, on February 19, nearly four years after a similar mass abduction in Chibok, Borno state.

In the wee hours of this morning, the violent militant group Boko Haram returned 91 schoolgirls after kidnapping 110 of them more than a month ago. One boy was also returned.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, confirmed the news, saying that the girls and the one boy were returned to the northern Nigerian community of Dapchi. It is unclear whether the remaining girls have been accounted for. Some suspect that a few might still be in captivity or worse, they may have died.

Mohammed said in a statement (posted on Facebook by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture) that the release of the 91 girls was done “through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country.” No ransom had been paid, he said, and the return was “unconditional.”

The girls were kidnapped on Feb. 19, and ever since then, the country of Nigeria said that they would do all they could to return them as soon as possible.

“The directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to all security agencies to do everything possible to secure the release of the Dapchi schoolgirls, who were abducted 19 Feb. 2018 has yielded fruits,” the statement reads.

According to The New York Times, a resident of Dapchi who is close to many of the parents of the kidnapped girls, said those who had been reunited were “very, very happy.”

“Boko Haram came themselves and dropped our daughters,” the resident Jauro Usman said.

Another resident of Dapchi snapped a photo of the heavily armed, masked militants arriving today at 3 a.m. in a truck packed with girls and a black flag waving from the vehicle. Although they returned 91 girls, they passed along a warning to parents not to allow them to return to school. If they do, then they would be back.

Although 91 girls have been returned, the government has faced heavy criticism for not preventing yet another kidnapping. A similar kidnapping of nearly 300 girls in Chibok, Nigeria occurred almost four years ago. Eighty-two of the Chibok girls are now free, but it was mostly due to paying out ransoms by the government, and don’t forget, more than 100 are still being held.

As news surrounding the Dapchi kidnapping continues to develop, let’s also keep our eyes on the Chibok one as well. #BringBackOurGirls needs to be in full effect again.

Renese spends her early mornings writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog.
Follow Renese on Twitter: @reneseford

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