On Tuesday, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said he felt an ‘overwhelming joy’ over the release of the abducted schoolgirls in Zamfara state, Northwest Nigeria.
Last Friday, terrorists attacked Government Girls’ Secondary school, Jangebe Talata Marafa Local Government Area of the state and abducted students two weeks after the abduction of 42 persons, including students from Government Science College in Kagara, Niger state
On Tuesday morning, the Government of Zamfara State announced that 279 schoolgirls were released by the terrorists, adding that all the students are now complete. This is against the 317 figure initially announced.
Reacting to the development, the Nigerian President said he was excited that the girls’ ordeal had finally come to a happy end.
“I join the affected families and the people of Zamfara State in welcoming and celebrating the release of the abducted students of GGSS, Jangebe,” the president said in a statement by Garba Shehu, his media aide, adding that “being held in captivity is an agonising experience not only for the victims but also their families and all of us.”
“This news brings overwhelming joy. I am pleased that their ordeal has come to a happy end without any incident.”
Buhari also assured Nigerians of his commitment towards phasing out kidnapping in the country.
“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,” he said.
He called on the people to be vigilant and be dutiful in providing intelligence reports to security operatives so that criminal plans could be voided on time.
Mass abductions and attacks on vulnerable villages have become endemic in the northwest and northcentral regions of the country.
Nigeria is also fighting off the Boko Haram insurgency. Despite persistent military campaigns against the terrorists, deadly attacks and kidnapping for ransom persist in the regions.
President Buhari has repeatedly come under criticism for failing to contain terrorism. Last week, the President promised that the Zamfara abduction would be the last of its kind but warned state governments against incentivising terrorists by paying the ransom.
“Ransom payments will continue to prosper kidnapping,” he warned.
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