Nigeria presidency releases names of 82 freed Chibok girls

Nigeria presidency releases names of 82 freed Chibok girls

ABUJA, Nigeria — Nigeria’s presidency released the names of the 82 Chibok schoolgirls newly freed from Boko Haram extremists which parents anxiously scoured to see if their daughters were released three years after their capture.

The list was published early Monday after Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari met with the young women before announcing he was leaving for London immediately for medical checkups as fears over his health continue.

Nigerians gathered in front of newsstands Monday looking at the names of freed schoolgirls in local papers.

Some parents of the kidnapped girls are in the capital, Abuja. Others stayed at their homes in northeastern Nigeria, waiting to see if their daughters were released after the mass abduction from a Chibok boarding school in 2014. Now they will be able to verify if they should make the journey. Following the weekend release, 113 Chibok schoolgirls remain missing.

Five Boko Haram commanders were released in exchange for the 82 girls’ freedom, a Nigerian government official said Sunday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to reporters on the matter. Neither Nigeria’s government nor Boko Haram, which has links to the Islamic State group, gave details about the exchange.

Photos released by the government Sunday showed the rail-thin president addressing the Chibok schoolgirls at his official residence Sunday evening, a day after their release.

Minutes later, the 74-year-old Buhari startled Africa’s most populous nation with the news of his departure. Buhari, who has missed three straight weekly Cabinet meetings and spent a month and a half in London on medical leave earlier this year, said he’d never been as sick in his life. The exact nature of his illness remains unclear.

Though Boko Haram has abducted thousands of people during its eight-year insurgency that has spilled across Nigeria’s borders, the Chibok mass kidnapping horrified the world and brought the extremist group international attention.

Some parents did not live long enough to see their daughters released, underscoring the tragedy of the three-year saga.

Boko Haram seized a total of 276 girls in the 2014 abduction. Girls who escaped early on said some of their classmates had died from illness. Others did not want to come home because they’d been radicalized by their captors, they said.

Human rights advocates also fear some of the girls have been used by Boko Haram to carry out suicide bombings.

Last year, a first group of 21 Chibok girls was freed in October, and they have been in government care for medical attention, trauma counselling and rehabilitation.


Associated Press writers Bashir Adigun in Abuja and Carley Petesch in Dakar, Senegal contributed to this report.

Sunday Alamba, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Large fire destroys home on McClure Street in Victoria

Fire crews dispatched to the 1100-block shortly before noon Monday

Driver puts brand new truck into friend’s house

No one hurt, house damaged in Tillicum area

Victoria to get new downtown fire hall and emergency centre

Johnson Street public safety building would include emergency operations centre, ambulance station

Growing protests over U.S. school shootings felt in Victoria

Greater Victoria School District officials confident about student safety in local schools

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Man dies in crash on Island Highway

Man thrown from his vehicle, alcohol believed to be a factor in accident near Parksville

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

America’s Musical Journey premieres at the IMAX

Enter to win tickets to an invite only concert at your community newspaper’s Facebook page

Privacy watchdog to explore Facebook leak

Canadian expert says his analytics company helped Trump campaign capitalize on private Facebook info

Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle

Ride-hailing company suspends all road-testing of such vehicles in U.S. and Canada

Spring snow melt uncovers dirty needles in B.C. city

Vernon residents are upset with number of needles being found around town with spring melt

US would host majority of games at 2026 World Cup

A decision on the winning bid will be made June 13 at the FIFA Congress in Mexico

Most people in B.C. too ‘lazy,’ ‘apathetic’ to prepare for disasters: poll

Less than half of those surveyed aren’t insured for earthquakes and wildfires

Most Read