The Federal Government says the number of Dapchi schoolgirls released on Wednesday has increased from 76 to 103, following the documentation of more of the freed girls by security agencies.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who gave the update in a statement issued in Abuja, said the number could still increase as the documentation of the freed girls was ongoing.
Mohammed had, in an earlier statement, confirmed the release of 76 of the 110 abducted students of the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State on February 19.
The minister said the release of the schoolgirls was the outcome of the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to all security agencies to do everything possible to secure the freedom of the schoolgirls.
He said the girls were released around 3a.m. “through back-channel efforts” and with the “help of some friends of the country,” 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.
“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,” he said.
NAN reports that the minister, accompanied by Minister of Interior, Abdurahman Dambazzau; and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hajia Khadija Bukar-Ibrahim, were on their way to Maiduguri to meet with the freed girls.