21 out of over 200 abducted Chibok School girls were Thursday exchanged for 4 leaders of the Boko Haram sect who have been in detention with the Department of State Service (DSS).
A local source in Borno according to Vanguard Newspaper disclosed that the exchange took place in Banki, Borno State.
“The girls were brought to Kumshe, which is 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Banki where a military base is stationed, in ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) vehicles,” said a source.
“The four Boko Haram militants were brought to Banki from Maiduguri in a military helicopter from where they were driven to Kumshe in ICRC vehicles.
“From Kumshe, the Chibok girls were taken by helicopter to Maiduguri, the capital of northeast Borno state.
“The 21 (Chibok) girls arrived (in) Banki around 3:00 am (0200 GMT) where they found a military helicopter waiting. They were immediately ushered into the helicopter and flown to Maiduguri,” said another source.
Though the identities of the girls are yet to be disclosed, presidential media aide, Garba Shehu has disclosed that girls will be handed over to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo after they had had some rest.
The girls were among the 219 students stolen from their dormitory bed in Chibok community, Borno State on April 14, 2014.
One of them, Amina had earlier this year escaped from their abductors’ grip and was received by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
In a statement, the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu confirmed the release of the 21 girls as he stated that the head of Department of State Services, DSS, Mallam Lawal Daura had briefed the president.
Shehu said that the girls who are currently in the custody of the DSS would soon be received by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
“It is confirmed that 21 of the missing Chibok Girls have been released and are in the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS.
“The Director-General, Malam Lawal Daura just finished briefing the President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The release of the girls, in a limited number is the outcome of negotiations between the administration and the Boko Haram brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss government. The negotiations will continue.
“The President welcomes the release of the girls but cautioned Nigerians to be mindful of the fact that more than 30,000 fellow citizens were killed via terrorism.
“Malam Daura wants the girls to have some rest, with all of them very tired coming out of the process before he hands them over to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
“The President takes off shortly on a trip to Germany for a state visit. The names of the released girls follow shortly”, Shehu said.