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UPDATED: Uncertainty Over Release Of Zamfara Schoolgirls

They are currently heading to Gusau, the state capital, according to a top government official who confirmed their release to Daily Trust.

There is a controversy surrounding the release of students who were abducted from Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Talata-Marafa Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

Over 300 students were abducted when gunmen stormed the school in the wee hours of Friday.

The incident happened just as efforts were ongoing to secure the freedom of staff and students of Government Science Secondary School, Kagara, Niger State.

But on Sunday, a top government official told Daily Trust that the students had been released and were on their way to Gusau, capital of Zamfara.

However, the government later denied that the schoolgirls have been released, saying negotiations were ongoing.

In a tweet, Suleiman Anka, Commissioner for Information, said security agencies and the state government were doing their best.

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has been pushing for a dialogue with bandits for peace to reign.

The latest Zamfara abduction happened hours after the state government said some repentant bandits had surrendered their arms.

The governor had ordered the closure of all boarding schools in the state during the search for the schoolgirls and assured parents and family members of the victims that they would be freed soon.

“My dear good people of Zamfara State, this is not a moment to trade blame. The recent twist in the spate of banditry brings to the fore the need for the adoption of a uniform strategy across all the affected states.

“I appeal to the people of the state to remain calm and resist the evil machinations of those who would want to exploit the current situation to achieve political ends. Insha Allah, with our collective resolve, we would emerge out of this situation stronger,” he had said in a statewide broadcast.

While reacting to the kidnap of schoolgirls, President Muhammadu Buhari had warned governors against giving out vehicles and cash to bandits.

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