Hundreds of girls who were kidnapped from a boarding school in northwestern Nigeria last week have been freed.
Freed schoolgirls were reunited with their families on Tuesday (March 2) in the Nigerian state of Zamfara. Gunmen released all 279 girls kidnapped from a boarding school in northwest Nigeria, the state governor said.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari expressed “overwhelming joy” over the release of the girls from days of captivity, vowing tougher action against kidnappers.
Nigeria has been rocked by four mass abductions of students in less than three months, sparking widespread anger against the government and memories of the 2014 kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls in Chibok, in the country’s east, that shocked the world.
“I am happy to announce that the girls are free,” Dr Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara state, told an AFP journalist early on Tuesday. “They have just arrived in the government house and are in good health.”
We are working hard to bring an end to these grim and heartbreaking incidents of kidnapping. The Military and the Police will continue to go after kidnappers. They need the support of local communities in terms of human intelligence that can help nip criminal plans in the bud.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) March 2, 2021
But there’s also concern that negotiations to secure their release could offer incentive to kidnappers.