The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, says the number of Dapchi schoolgirls released has increased to 101.
The minister said this in a message sent to State House reporters this afternoon after the earlier interview he granted.
Mohammed said the federal government’s delegation sent to Dapchi, Yobe State by President Muhammadu Buhari might however meet the girls in Maiduguri, Borno State.
The minister did not explain why the girls would be met in Maiduguri.
“Yes, as of now, the number has increased to 101. However we may probably meet the girls in Maiduguri,” he said.
One of the abducted schoolgirls, Maryam Yerima, said that five abducted schoolgirls died, while one of them was still under captivity.
Yerima said, since the day they were abducted, there was no serious feeding but they were not harassed or molested by the insurgents.
“We were fed with dates and wild fruits. Five of us died, while one Christian girls was still in captivity for refusing to denounced her faith”, she said.
“They asked us to strip our school uniforms and they provided us with this yellow hijab. We spent five days on transit before arriving here”, she said
The Federal Government also said that no ransom was paid for their release.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, told State House reporters that the girls were released unconditionally, “no money changed hands”.
He said the only condition given by the insurgents was that they would return the girls to where they picked them.
“So in the early hours of today, they did return the girls and most of them went to their parents’ homes.
“As of now I can confirm that 101 girls and one boy have been released. The event is developing. Many of the girls that were released were not dropped in one place.
“Some were dropped on the road and they went back naturally to their parents’ houses. They are now being asked to come and be documented at a centre and as at five minutes ago, I was told 91 girls and a boy had been documented.”
On why was a boy among the girls released, Mohammed said: “I can tell you that is authentic. Whether they pick the boy or not I can’t hazard any guess but don’t forget even in a girl school, which is a boarding school there will be parents, they are teachers who can have children amongst them. But what I have been told is that 91 girls and one boy have been documented.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari had sent a delegation comprising the Ministers of Information, Interior and State for Foreign Affairs to Dapchi.
The delegation is currently on their way to the state.