The Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle has said that repentant bandits in the state assisted security agencies in the operations that led to the release of the schoolgirls of Government Science Secondary School, Jangebe, who were abducted in the early hours of Friday, 26th February.
The governor, who received the girls at about 5am Tuesday in Gusau, the state capital, said the 279 girls were returned safely, without any ransome being paid.
“This is the result of our peace effort and putting to shame all those saying there us no security in this country.
“We have been in discussion since Friday with the abductors, and reached an agreement on Monday by 4pm that the girls were released,” the governor said.
He added, “We are happy that all 279 have safely returned.
“They will undergo medical checks and be given balanced diets to recuperate, by the state government before they are handed back to their respective families.
“I want to appeal to parents not to remove their children from school as a result of this”.
The governor promised to ensure additional security in all schools in the state, and also thanked media outlets “for thier support in these trying times”.
Matawalle congratulated parents of the victims and Nigerians for the safe return of the girls.
One of the victims, Hafsatu Anka, an SS II student, who spoke in tears, said they were laid in trenches littered with human faeces.
According to her: “We saw other people, including women and children and father of one of our school mates, who had been in the den for three months.
“They walked us on foot where some of us got dislocated on their foot.
“They would pray as Muslims, but never allowed us to pray and they fed us with rice in which they put sand after cooking.”