B'Haram frees abducted UNIMAID lecturers, 10 women

Sunday, 11 Feb, 2018

Three of the hostages were lecturers from the University of Maiduguri who were abducted while on an oil exploration trip in Magumeri, in the northeastern Borno state, in July 2017.

The academics were abducted by the Nigeria-based Islamic militants while conducting oil prospect evaluations in the Lake Chad area on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum a year ago, said presidential spokesman Garba Shehu.

Similarly, Lucy Yunana, a relative of one the abducted policewomen, who corroborated Mr. Ibrahim, expressed the hope that the remaining Chibok girls and others persons in Boko Haram captivity would soon be released.

The Islamist militant group Boko Haram has released 13 people who were kidnapped in north-eastern Nigeria previous year, the government says.

"Their release followed a series of negotiations as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari and was facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross", said Shehu, adding that Buhari was pleased by the news.

A team of doctors and psychologists has been placed on standby to attend to them, said the presidential statement.

On Saturday, Mr Buhari called on the Nigerian army to intensify efforts to bring home more than 100 Chibok schoolgirls still missing.

"On behalf of the good people of Borno State, I commend all actors that partook in the latest negotiated release of police women and lecturers".

Petesch reported from Dakar, Senegal.

The statement emphasised that: "The ICRC remains ready to provide similar humanitarian services in the future when asked by relevant parties to the conflict".

He said all the 13 rescued persons were in the custody of the service and are on their way to Abuja with the assistance of the Nigerian Army and the Air Force and may meet the president. "Consequently, communities must remain vigilant and report odd persons or unusual movements and escapees", he said.