Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, who confirmed the news on Tuesday, said the girls were released with the help of repentant bandits without any ransom paid.
The Governor put the number of girls recovered at 279, although the police had earlier said 317 girls were kidnapped.
The released girls arrived at the Zamfara State Government House in Gusau early on Tuesday wearing face masks and light blue and brown chadors. They had breakfast and were scheduled to visit the hospital for checks before a reunion with their families.
The girls’ kidnapping on Friday was the latest in a series of school abductions that has rocked the country in the past three months.
“I am very exhausted and very devastated,” Governor Matwalle told reporters on Tuesday, “but I thank God that with the prayers of Nigerians we are able to secure their release.”
He said his government will continue to negotiate with bandits – some who may have been involved in the abduction – and convince them to accept a peace deal. “We want to bring everybody on board,” he said.
Governor Matawalle also noted that the released girls will undergo counseling.
Why Zamfara School Abduction Will Be The Last- FG
The federal government has explained reasons why the Zamfara school girls abduction will be the last.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika spoke to State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential Villa .
Recall that President Buhari had assured Nigerians that last Friday’ abduction of female students from Government Girls Science Secondary School, Jangebe, will be the last to happen.The president’s statement was relayed through Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, who led a high-powered federal government delegation to sympathise with the people and government of Zamfara.
However, speaking to correspondents Sirika insisted that the government has done everything possible to ensure safe schools .
He said “To answer your question that those who do not mean well for the country, they can try to do it to embarrass government, by government saying it will be the last, by the grace of God. It’s a possibility, but what Mr. President is doing, and his government, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, has done everything possible to ensure safe schools.
“It has recently rejigged the national security architecture and it’s an ongoing exercise and everything that is possible to stop this, government is putting it in place, and by special grace of God, it should be the last this country will see.
“Yes, there may be a possibility that some people will try to do it to embarrass government, but government has the resources to continue to give the best in terms of security in this country. We think, and we hope, but especially grace of God, that this will be the last that we’ll see in this country.
On arrangements the government has on ground to ensure that this will be the last, he said “Well, first and foremost, like I said, the government has put things in place to ensure safe schools, in partnership with the sub-nationals, in partnership with the people that are localised in those environments, including intelligence gathering, information gathering, you know, and then supply of equipment and weapons and so on, so forth, training and retraining of security personnel, etc.
“Everything that is humanly possible by any government to put in place, to ensure security of lives and property, is being put together to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Like I said, it’s an ongoing thing and government is committed to it and will continue to do so,” he said.