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Dapchi Girls Back With Their Parents

The schoolgirls kidnapped by the Boko Haram jihadist group in Dapchi, northeastern Nigeria, were reunited with their families on Sunday after spending nearly five weeks in captivity.

The 105 girls, covered head to toe in burkas, arrived aboard five buses in the town of Dapchi, in Yobe state, where they were greeted by their parents at the boarding school where they were snatched on February 19.

After their release on Wednesday they had spent three days in the national capital Abuja where they were greeted by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Kachalla Bukar, the father of one of the girls who is spokesman for the parents, said they were flown to the major northern city of Maiduguri from Abuja, then transferred under military escort to Dapchi.

Top officials were on hand for a solemn ceremony in which the parents regained custody of their children.

The girls were among 111 who were seized, of whom five died apparently during the violent hostage-taking or in the trucks that took them away.

Their release leaves one schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, still in the hands of the kidnappers, reportedly because she is a Christian who refused to convert to Islam.

Buhari on Friday pledged to do “everything in our power” to obtain Leah’s freedom.

Authorities earlier expressed optimism that Leah would be released at the weekend.

But on Sunday, a spokesman for the national police said that comments by national police chief Ibrahim Idris had been “misunderstood and misquoted”.

The police “reiterates that it has no information yet on the release of the last Dapchi schoolgirl,” he said.

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About Olaniyi Apanpa (474 Articles)
Olaniyi Apanpa is a media practitioner and sports enthusiast. Contact at greenballmedia51@gmail.com

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