Twelve days after the release of 82 Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram insurgents, the presidency on Wednesday announced the discovery of another girl, bringing the total number of girls who have regained freedom to 164.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the information was made public by Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Adesina was said to have disclosed that acting President Yemi Osinbajo who announced the girl’s rescue during the FEC meeting, said the girl had been brought to Abuja to join other girls who had earlier been rescued.
“Yes, at the Federal Executive Council meeting, the vice-president broke the cheery news to members of the cabinet and after that I have also spoken to defence people who confirmed it.
“The details are yet to be fully unravelled. But in terms of is it true? Yes, it is true. I learnt she’s already been brought to Abuja, but I have not seen her,” Adesina was quoted as saying.
While expressing optimism that the remaining Chibok schoolgirls and other Nigerians in captivity would soon be rescued, Adesina debunked the view that members of the Boko Haram sect had started regrouping in Sambisa forest, expressing confidence that if the sect indeed regroups, it will only suffer another defeat.
“One thing you can be sure of is that this government has the capacity to confront any security challenge that arises. So, if they regroup, they will be flushed out again.
“I believe that we have seen the worst of that insurgency. We are in a mopping up process and I believe the mop up would be completed (soon),” he said.
The latest returnee brought the number of girls who have regained freedom since their abduction three years ago to 164, while 112 other girls still remain in the captivity of Boko Haram.
Following the kidnap of 276 girls on April 14, 2014 from Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State, 57 of the girls escaped in the immediate days of their abduction, four were able to escape last year (including the girl that has just been discovered), 21 were freed last October, while another 82 were released 12 days ago after a prisoner swap with the terror group.