The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said on Wednesday, the abducted students of Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, were released unconditionally.
He stated this while speaking with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
At least 110 girls were abducted from their hostels by Boko Haram fighters on February 19.
According to Mohammed, 101 girls were released along with one boy.
He said two of the kidnapped girls died during the abduction.
Members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) who were in the Council chamber for the weekly meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari were in high spirit over the girls’ release.
They were discussing the issue in small groups before the meeting started.
Mohammed said: “You see, all we can tell is what we got from our sources on ground. As things develop we will let you know. The girls were released unconditionally, no money changed hands. They only gave us one condition, that they will return them to where they picked them. So in the early hours of today (Wednesday), they did return the girls and most of them went to their parents homes.
“As of now I can confirm that 91 girls and one boy have been released. The event is developing. Many of the girls that were released were not dropped in one place. Some were dropped on the road and they went back naturally to their parents’ houses.
“They are now being asked to come for documentation at a center and as at five minutes ago, I was told 91 girls and boy had been documented.”
On the boy that was released along with the girls, the minister added: “I can tell you that the report is authentic. Whether they picked the boy or not I can’t hazard any guess. But don’t forget even in a girl school, which is a boarding school there will be parents, there are teachers who can have children amongst them. But what I have been told is that 91 girls and one boy have been documented.”
“On the issue of delegation, I think we will clear that with relevant security authorities, it is not something I can talk about right now. We are constantly talking to those on ground. Don’t forget as of now that area has become an operational area and so we have to take advise from the security operatives on what to do.
“What is important is that we must be able to brief you regularly on development and we are constantly in touch with authorities in Dapchi.
“The report we got was that one condition the insurgents gave was that they will be the ones to drop the girls and they dropped them in the early hours of this morning.
“Like I said in the statement released to you earlier, once violence and confrontation was ruled out and negotiation started, there was a deliberate pause on the part of the military, in other words it was agreed that there will be no force and there will be no confrontation. That was why it was possible for them to drop the girls.
“It was part of the agreement that we will release the girls and there will be no violence or confrontation. And don’t forget that the lives of these children are much more important to us than any cheap victory.
“If you remember, immediately this thing happened, Mr. President actually directed the security agencies especially the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to man every school. But you see we must look at this thing in context, if you look at other countries like the United States, particularly in Florida you saw how gunmen entered the school and killed about 17 pupils. Insurgency is a global issue and the government must always be on its toes.
“One of the things we have done today is that we have tried to secure the schools and there are efforts on the part of government to even merge some schools, schools that are far flung.
“As I speak to you now, the girls are in General Hospital in Dapchi and the counsellors are there with them. Just as we did when we had the first and second sets of released Chibok girls, they will be quarantined and psychologically counseled before they go back to their schools.
“I want to guess the girls will meet Mr. President but I cannot say so. Things are still just developing.”