“This information convey overwhelming pleasure,” Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari wrote on Twitter. “I’m happy that their ordeal has come to a cheerful finish with none incident.”
Although native authorities initially stated that 317 ladies had been kidnapped, the quantity got here down as some ladies have been discovered to have eluded seize by fleeing the varsity.
Images from Gusau confirmed dozens of younger ladies talking with officers. Matawalle stated at a information convention that the women would obtain medical examinations earlier than being returned to their households.
The kidnapping of the scholars in Zamfara in early Friday got here amid a spate of comparable abductions over latest weeks, together with one simply 9 days earlier than, when attackers stormed a boarding faculty in north-central Nigeria and took greater than 40 individuals.
The focusing on of schoolchildren by Nigerian extremist teams has been a menace for years, however some analysts say the issue is worsening. Boko Haram achieved worldwide notoriety for kidnapping greater than 270 schoolgirls from the city of Chibok within the northeastern state of Borno in 2014.
Although some ladies have been later launched after a world social media marketing campaign centered on the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, greater than 100 are nonetheless lacking.
Many of the kidnappers, normally dubbed “bandits” by officers, goal kids within the hope of extracting ransoms. Between 2011 and 2020, Nigerians paid a minimum of $18 million in response to such calls for, based on a report by consulting agency SB Morgen.
Nigerian officers didn’t present an in depth account of how the Zamfara college students had been freed. Talking at a information convention on Tuesday, Matawalle instructed the federal government had labored ultimately with “repentant bandits.”
“These repentant ones are working for us, and they’re working for the federal government, and they’re working for safety,” the governor stated, Reuters reported.
In his Twitter messages, the Nigerian president pledged to do extra to combat kidnappings.
“We’re working arduous to convey an finish to those grim and heartbreaking incidents of kidnapping,” Buhari wrote, calling on native communities to offer “human intelligence that may assist nip legal plans within the bud.”
Peter Hawkins, UNICEF’s consultant in Nigeria, stated that whereas the group was relieved the women had been returned, the Nigerian authorities should do extra to guard locations of studying.
“Whereas we rejoice on the launch of the schoolgirls and look ahead to their protected return to their households, we reiterate that assaults on college students and faculties aren’t solely reprehensible however a violation of the proper of kids to an training,” Hawkins stated. “It’s a proper that any society can ill-afford to violate.”