Abuja The Nigerian government confirmed that Boko Haram returned 91 out of the 110 schoolgirls kidnapped by the terrorist group in the country's northeastern town of Dapchi last month, news agencies reported.
Addressing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed said that 91 schoolgirls have been documented by the government. He also mentioned that one boy was part of those documented even though only 110 girls were reported to be missing.
"As of now, I can confirm that 91 girls and 1 boy have been released. I could say it's a development, the minister said, adding: Many of the children that were released were not dropped in one place � they were dropped on the road. They went back, naturally, to their parents' houses and are now being asked to come and be documented at the center.
Mohammed revealed that the girls were released through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of Nigeria, 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," he said.
''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."
Source: International Islamic News Agency