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Nigeria says 1 girl still a Boko Haram captive

26 March 2018, 01:49 | Hattie Nash

Witnesses: Boko Haram returns Nigerian kidnapped schoolgirls

The schoolgirls who were abducted Boko Haram were taken to meet the president hours after being returned to the town of Dapchi this week

He stated that he learnt Leah Sharibu, the christian SS1 student who was held back for refusing to renounce her religion, might be released today.

A faction of Boko Haram kidnapped 110 girls and one boy from the girls' school in Dapchi, a town in north-east Nigeria, in February, and released majority a month later, after what the government described as "back-channel" negotiations. Five of the schoolgirls reportedly died in captivity over the past month.

He dismissed the explanation made by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, that the government had a ceasefire arrangement with the insurgents and that they should not have abducted the Dapchi schoolgirls.

The abductions in Dapchi have evoked painful memories of the tragedy in Chibok, where 276 girls were kidnapped from their boarding school. Her own daughter, Rifkatu, is still missing almost four years after she and over 200 of her classmates were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants from their school in Chibok about 275 km (170 miles) away. What if they decide to abduct more people.

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The government said it had secured their release "through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country". "We are determined as never before, to bring back our remaining Chibok daughters and this, we must accomplish and that will be soon, by God's grace", he added.

He said he had earlier planned to visit Dapchi as part of his on the spot assessment of deployment of personnel to schools in the north-east but cut off the visit to soften the ground on hearing that the schoolgirl was on her way back to Dapchi. How can the government be talking about Boko Haram and morality? This strategy paid off as the girls have been released without any incidents.

In the video, the youths also saluted the insurgents and bade them farewell as they embark on the return journey to their hideouts.

The sources said the Shekau faction is less amenable to peace talks, which is fairly obvious, but a settlement with one faction would reduce attacks on soft targets and give the military more chance to apply further pressure on Shekau.

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