As FG Releases the Names of Freed Chibok Girls, Osinbajo Says More Will Regain Freedom in Next Few Days, Months
The Federal Government has released the names of the 21 Chibok Secondary School girls just released by Boko Haram.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, gave the names of the freed girls as Mary Usman Bulama: Jummai John: Blessing Abana: Lugwa Sanda: Comfort Habila: Maryam Basheer: Comfort Amos: Glory Mainta: Saratu Emannuel: Deborah Ja’afaru: Rahab Ibrahim: Helen Musa: Maryamu Lawan:
Others are Rebecca Ibrahim: Asabe Goni: Deborah Andrawus: Agnes Gapani: Saratu Markus: Glory Dama: Pindah Nuhu: and, Rebecca Mallam
Also on Thursday, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, said more of the kidnapped girls will be released in the next few days and months.
Osinbajo, who spoke with State House Correspondents after she met with the girls at the Office of the Department of State Security, said Nigerians should congratulate themselves and thank the God for the girls release.
He also confirmed report that the Federal Government did not swap detained members of Boko Haram for the release of the girls.
One of the 21 girls has a baby.
He said: "We should congratulate ourselves and thank the almighty God for the release and subsequent returning home of 21 of the Chibok girls who were taken almost 2 years ago. It is an exciting news for the whole country. Everyone is really excited and I believe that we should be very thankful to God.
"I also want to thank the military and all the security services, DSS, Intelligence services across the county as well as our friends and partners, internationally who have also helped in bringing happy ending of captivity of at least 21 of the chibok girls.
"About an hour ago, I met with the 21 Chibok girls who have been brought back and they are in good health considering the circumstances they have been held in and they are now being well taken care of in the medical facility. They will be staying there for sometime until we are satisfied about their health condition. Their parents will be coming to join them hopefully by tomorrow.
"There will be therapy, there will be counselling. Of course, we can imagine what they have gone through. So we expect that a lot of psychological therapy and so much needs to be done to get them back."
On whether the girls were released by swapping them for suspected members of Boko Haram, the vice president said: "There was no exchange of any kind. There was no swap of any kind. When we started negotiations, we said we would consider all options available to us. Absolutely, there was no exchange of any kind."
On whether the government will agree to swap to secure the release of the remaining girls, he replied,
"We must be sensitive to the fact that the government wants these girls back and alive. Again, we must balance it against the security and safety of the country. In the process of negotiation, we will look at all options and we will weigh the options carefully and decide what to do.
"But what has happened and the process we have begun is one which has not involved any type of swap of Boko Haram commanders or any militant in any way. That is a very good turn of event. We believe that in the next few days and months, we will be bringing in more of these girls using exactly the same kind of negotiation and the same template that we used."
On whether Red Cross was involved in the negotiation leading to the release of the girls, Osinbajo said: "The Swiss government worked with us in the process of negotiation but the Red Cross is not involved in the negotiation but in taking the girls back, of course, we worked with the Red Cross because we were unable to take our own medical team. The Red Cross was not involved at all in the process of negotiation. It was the Swiss government, our own officials: the DSS, intelligence and the military that were involved."