ABUJA: Nigeria’s government on Wednesday said another Chibok girl was free, having escaped from Boko Haram Islamists more than three years after being kidnapped with more than 200 classmates.
Presidency spokesman Femi Adesina said Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, deputising for President Muhammadu Buhari who is on sick leave, had informed senior ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting.
“The details are yet to full unravel. But in terms of is it true? Yes, it is true. I learnt she is already being brought to Abuja, but I have not seen her,” he told reporters.
Presidential aide Bashir Ahmad also confirmed the girl was now free, tweeting: “The escaped #ChibokGirl was found by the Nigerian troops while she was escaping from the captivity.”
No further details were immediately available about where she was found but the girl’s escape means 107 of the 219 schoolgirls held by the jihadists since April 2014 are now free.
Earlier this month, the government secured the release of 82 in a prisoner swap deal. Twenty-one were exchanged in a similar agreement last October. Three others have either been found or escaped.
The government has indicated talks for the release of the remaining 112 still missing are under way and could pave the way for a possible end to the conflict.
The mass abduction from the Government Girls Secondary School in the remote town in Borno state was condemned around the world and brought global attention to the brutal insurgency.
At least 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2.6 million others made homeless in eight years of fighting, which has triggered a humanitarian crisis, leaving millions on the brink of starvation.
The latest group of girls, who have been taken to a government facility in the capital, are expected to be reunited with their parents in the coming days.
The students’ release was tempered by a Boko Haram video last weekend, purportedly showing some Chibok schoolgirls who refused to be released.
In a separate recorded message, a man claiming to be one of five militants exchanged for the 82 threatened to attack the capital.