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

VIDEO: Surrey girls donate hair, give hope through Wigs for Kids

Emotional event at Coyote Creek Elementary saw 10 girls donate locks to those with cancer

Historic farm time travels to 1900

Demonstrations to show life in Surrey

Choices Lottery home located in White Rock

The 3,672 square-foot, three-level home, located at 1502 Bishop Road, has ocean views.

Pedestrian in critical condition after South Surrey crash identified

RCMP said they have been in contact with the woman’s family

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Couple keeps South Surrey neighbourhood clean

Bob Cockerill, 83, and his wife Ev, 80, pick up garbage on their morning walks

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Most Read