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Kidnappers proposed to marry us — Freed schoolgirls

The abductors of freed Jangebe schoolgirls gave them their phone numbers and promised to visit their parents to seek their hands in marriage. Several girls…

The abductors of freed Jangebe schoolgirls gave them their phone numbers and promised to visit their parents to seek their hands in marriage.

Several girls told Daily Trust yesterday that their abductors professed love to them and promised to contact them over the phone to find out if they had accepted the marriage proposal.

Hassatu Umar Anka, said their abductors advised them to abandon school so they could get married.

“When we were about to be released, some of them came and starting pointing at us and saying, ‘We love some of you and we want to marry you if you would accept our proposal’. You shouldn’t be wasting your time schooling,” she said.

She said the kidnappers were afraid of the military and whenever fighter jets hovered in the air, they sought cover.

“They nicknamed the fighter jet “Shaho” (hawk) and if they see one, they would ask us to hide under caves or trees. It really frightens them,” she added.

What my father told me- Jangebe girl narrates encounter with abducted family members

A 14-year-old freed student of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Zamfara State, Habiba, yesterday narrated how she met her father and elder sister in the kidnappers’ den.

She told Daily Trust that immediately her father saw her, he recognised her.The girl, who is from Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara, also narrated how bandits invaded their residence three months ago.

She said her father warned her not to disclose his identity to avoid being killed by the gunmen.

“He said: ‘Habiba, are you? Yes daddy, I replied. Is every one at home fine,” he asked and I replied too. He then warned me not to identify him or my sister or else we would all be killed. My colleagues who got to understand that he is my father also asked to heed his warning.

“They were kidnapped more than three months ago following a nocturnal raid at our house. They killed my uncle. All efforts to secure the release of my father and sister failed because of the demand for huge amount of money as ransom.

“They inflicted injury on him by cutting him with machete and beatings. Whenever I saw them beating him, I would cry. It was really disturbing. They said they would kill them if ransom is not paid.”

Abductors offered money not to release Jangebe girls – Matawalle

Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle yesterday said while the state was negotiating with the abductors of Jangebe schoolgirls, the armed men were offered money by unnamed persons not to release them.

Matawalle spoke when he was addressing the freed Jangebe schoolgirls on Tuesday. They were released after four days in captivity.

The governor said he would soon reveal the mystery behind the abduction of the girls, warning those instigating criminals to be careful.

He said he had asked the relevant security agencies, including the police, DSS and army, to discreetly investigate the matter.

“I didn’t sleep for four days. We worked hard for days to ensure the safe return of the girls to their families. We are using kinetic and non-kinetic approaches, and the non-kinetic is working for us. If not, we wouldn’t have successfully negotiated the release of these girls, ” he said.

The governor said the abducted and freed girls were 279 and all were released.

UNICEF to FG: Going to school shouldn’t be a risk

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund yesterday told the Federal Government that going to school should not be a risk in the country.

UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Peter Hawkins, in a statement on the release of abducted schoolgirls in Jangebe, Zamfara State, urged governments at all levels to intensify efforts towards making schools safe.

Hawkins said: “We are relieved at the news of the reported release of over 200 students of the Government Girls’ Secondary School Jangebe in Zamfara State, north-west Nigeria, who were kidnapped during an overnight attack at their school in the early hours of the morning on Friday 26 February.

“While we rejoice at the release of the schoolgirls and look forward to their safe return to their families, we reiterate that attacks on students and schools are not only reprehensible but a violation of the right of children to an education. It is a right that any society can ill-afford to violate.”


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