President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed overwhelming joy over the release of the abducted female students in Zamfara State.
Reacting to the development, in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, on Tuesday the President said “I join the families and people of Zamfara State in welcoming and celebrating the release of these traumatized female students.”
He also said he was excited that their ordeal came to a happy end without any incident, adding that “being held in captivity is an agonizing experience not only for the victims but also their families and all of us.”
While celebrating the release of the students, the President called for greater vigilance by the people so that human intelligence could be collected early enough to nip the bandits’ plans in the bud.
He also warned that the time has come to reverse, completely, the grim and heartbreaking incidents of kidnapping.
“Ransom payments will continue to prosper kidnapping,” President Buhari said while urging the Police and the Military to go after the kidnappers and bring them to justice.
The freed Zamfara Schoolgirls arrived at the State Government House in the capital city, Gusau in the early hours of Tuesday, wearing face masks and light blue and brown chadors.
Shortly after, they had breakfast and are now scheduled to visit the hospital for checks before a reunion with their families.
317 of the girls were said to have been abducted last Friday from their boarding school, the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
The Governor, Bello Matawalle, however, put the number of abducted and recovered schoolgirls at 279.
Seven of the girls had earlier escaped their captors.
Governor Matawalle said the 279 were released with the help of repentant bandits without any ransom paid.
Their abduction is the latest in a series of increasing abductions witnessed in the country within the last three months.