The majority of the 317 female students abducted from a school in Zamfara State have been freed.
The schoolgirls were kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State last Friday.
Yusuf Idris, the media aide to Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, confirmed the release of the girls to PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday morning.
The official said 279 schoolgirls were released around 4:00 a.m. on Tuesday. He said the girls are currently at the Zamfara government house waiting to be reunited with their parents.
He asked for more time to provide details on the remaining 38 girls.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the students were abducted early Friday amidst the worsening security situation across Nigeria.
The abduction in Zamfara occurred about two weeks after dozens of students and staff members were abducted by armed bandits from a school in Kagara, Niger State. The students in Niger were released on Saturday morning.
President Muhammadu Buhari had condemned the abductions saying his government would not succumb to the blackmail of the bandits.
On Monday, a leader of the federal government delegation sent to sympathise with the people and government of Zamfara State over the kidnapped Jangebe schoolgirls, Hadi Sirika, briefed President Buhari on the outcome of their mission to the state.
Speaking to State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with the president on Monday in Abuja, Mr Sirika, who is also the minister of aviation, expressed optimism that the abducted female students of Government Girls Science Secondary School, Jangebe, would soon be freed from their abductors.
He said the government and people of Zamfara State have expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the federal government toward addressing the menace of banditry and kidnapping in the state.
Mr Sirika said: “Well, the message we have brought back to the president is that the government and people of Zamfara are very appreciative of the efforts of Mr President, including all of the things that the president had done towards Zamfara.
“The governor also said he has an unfettered access to Mr President and Mr President has always given him a listening ear, and they have helped him in so many ways in reaching a peaceful coexistence with his people.
“So he’s very glad and he’s very happy. He asked us to greet Mr President and tell Mr President that he should count him as a partner in this challenge.’’
Mr Sirika had on Sunday delivered Mr Buhari’s message to the people and government of Zamfara.
He said new measures had been developed by the federal government which would bring a complete end to all forms of criminality in the nation.
“The president is saddened by the abduction of the students from Jangebe and reassures you that the government has all the resources and wherewithal to contain these criminals.”
Other members of the delegation were the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sa’adiya Umar-Faruk; and Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen.