Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Tuesday revealed what one of the Chibok schoolgirls who refused to be part of those freed from Boko Haram told negotiators.
The presidential aide said the girl stated that she would stay back because she had married one of the Boko Haram fighters.
“One said, ‘No, I have a husband. I’m happy where I am’; and then, 82 came back,” Shehu quoted the girl in an interview on Channels Television.
He said that the initial negotiation had been for the release of 83 of the girls abducted from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, in April 2014.
On re-uniting the girls with the families, Shehu said: “Names of the released girls have been published already but we do not want a repeat of duplications that we had when the first set of 21 girls were released.
“Because of similarities in names, we had two or three sets of parents coming on the assumptions that the girls mentioned were theirs. We don’t want to create that confusion,” he stated.
He added that the Federal Government would not stop any parent from immediately establishing contact with their daughters.
Rather than stopping them from meeting their daughters, the presidential spokesman said government would facilitate a quick reunion.
“Photographs of all the girls were taken. These pictures were printed and dispatched to Chibok.
“These young ladies did not all come from Chibok township itself but some from various settlements scattered around the town.”
He explained that once the parents get the pictures and verify the identities of their daughters, they are free to come to Abuja to meet with their daughters.
Shehu described the long distance between Abuja and Chibok as another challenge, saying the journey by road takes two days.