Buhari assures Dapchi schoolgirls of security

Buhari assures Dapchi schoolgirls of security

"They told her to convert to Muslim and she told them that she would not convert to Muslim, hence she's the only Christian among them", Leah's father, Nathan Sharibu, told VOA.

"It is equally curious to observe that the girls were released nearly exactly the same time the Defence Minister, Mansur Dan Ali promised that they would be released, apparently mimicking what the president said a few days earlier".

There Dapchi community in Busari local government of Yobe state has been thrown into confusion over Leah Sharibu, the only girl in captivity out of the 110 students abducted on February 19.

Fatima Mohammed's distraught parents think she is among the five who died, but the army prevented them from confirming this with Fatima's friends, and none of the authorities have made contact.

A former Secretary to the Oyo State Government (SSG), Chief Sarafadeen Alli, has said the mode and method by which the abducted Dapchi girls were returned is a vindication of his stance that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is only fighting political Boko Haram.

FILE - Major General Rogers Nicholas carries one of the newly released Dapchi schoolgirls as others wait to board a plane in Maiduguri, Nigeria, March 21, 2018.

The abductions in Dapchi have evoked painful memories of the tragedy in Chibok, where 276 girls were kidnapped from their boarding school.

The media aide to the CAN President, Pastor Bayo Oladeji said, "Why grant amnesty to criminals who have killed many people?"

The minister said there were no conspiracy theories as to how the insurgents were able to return the schoolgirls to Dapchi un-attacked despite troops presence.

"However, it puts on us an even greater responsibility to ensure that all of the remaining Chibok girls are returned".

A statement said the government did not pay a ransom nor swap captive insurgents for the release of the schoolgirls. "This strategy paid off as the girls have been released without any incidents", he continued.

Earlier Buhari's government said it would pursue negotiations with - rather than a military offensive against - Boko Haram to try to secure the girls' freedom.