Schoolgirls kidnapped from Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State last Friday have regained their freedom.
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.