The hundreds of teenage girls abducted from a boarding school in Nigeria’s Jangebe region last Friday have been released are currently in the offices of the Zamfara government, the governor of the state confirmed, reported Africa News.
Zamfara state governor Alhaji Bello Matawalle told the media that the total 279 kidnapped girls are all accounted for and in good health.
“I am happy to announce that the girls are free,” Dr. Bello Matawalle told an AFP journalist. “They have just arrived in the government house and are in good health.
The authorities had initially said 317 girls were abducted by unidentified gunmen in a raid on the Government Girls Secondary School in Nigeria’s remote Jangebe village on Friday.
But, Matawalle confirmed that the total number of female students abducted was 279.
“We thank Allah they are all now with us,” the governor said.
President Muhammadu Buhari also expressed a sigh of relief over the news that kidnappers had released the schoolgirls.
In a Tweet, Buhari said he was “pleased that their ordeal has come to a happy end without any incident”.
Nigeria has witnessed several such attacks and kidnappings in recent years. The government says large groups of armed men in Zamfara state kidnap people for money and to demand the release of their members held in jail.
On Saturday, the gunmen released 27 teenage boys aged between 15 and 18 who were kidnapped from their school in the north-central state of Niger on Feb. 17. The armed gang had also abducted three staff members and 12 members of their families.
In December, gunmen raided a school in Nigeria’s Katsina state and kidnapped nearly 350 boys, who were later rescued by the security forces.
Although the Nigerian army deployed in the northwest and central Nigeria had signed a peace deal with the bandits in 2019, but attacks have continued.