EU hails release of Dapchi schoolgirls

FILE: Some of the released Dapchi School Girls believed to have been adopted by Boko Haram Terrorists during their arrival at the Presidential Villa to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Friday (23/3/18) 01701/23/3/2018/Callistus Ewelike/NAN

The European Union delegation in Nigeria said on Friday that the release of majority of the abducted schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe State, brought relief to Nigerians and majority of families affected by the incident.

Of the 110 schoolgirls kidnapped in February, 104 were released by the Boko Haram insurgents, while five were said to have died during the kidnap.

One of the girls, Leah Sharibu, is said to still be in captivity with the terrorists for refusing to put on a hijab and renounce her Christian faith.

The spokesperson for the EU’s Foreign Affairs & Security Policy of the delegation, Catherine Ray, said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Friday that the return of the girls to their families provided an opportunity for them to rebuild their lives.

“It is with great relief that we learnt about the release of the majority of the abducted Dapchi girls in Nigeria. They can now return to their families and have the opportunity to rebuild their lives,” Ms. Ray said.

Ms. Ray expressed the condolences of the EU delegation to the families and friends of the girls who lost their lives during their over one-month sojourn with the insurgents.

“We renew our solidarity with all the girls still held captive and call for their liberation.

“We commend the Nigerian Government for its resolve in obtaining the release of the girls, and support that urgent measures are taken to avoid repeated abductions and violence.

“All young people have a right to safe education and the EU will work with Nigeria in supporting efforts to secure this objective,” she stated.

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Bassey Udo is PREMIUM TIMES’ Business & Economy Editor. He has covered finance, energy, oil, gas & extractive industries for over a decade. He is a winner of the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism, and the Thomson Reuters Foundation (Wealth of Nations) Award for Business Reporting. Bassey is an alumnus of the U.S. International Visitors Leadership Programme. Twitter: @ba_udo


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