President Muhammadu Buhari will travel to London for “medical follow-up, the length of the president’s stay away is to be determined by his “London doctors”. The recent trip occurs less than two months after the president also spent over 50 days in London on medical vacation. The president had planned to leave Sunday afternoon, but decided to tarry a bit, due to the arrival of 82 Chibok girls who arrived Abuja earlier in the day. “The President wishes to assure all Nigerians that there is no cause for worry. He is very grateful for the prayers and good wishes of the people, and hopes they would continue to pray for the peace and unity of the nation”, said president’s spokeperson. Government will continue to function normally under the leadership of the Vice President.
Eighty-two Chibok schoolgirls abducted three years ago by Boko Haram have been freed in exchange for detained suspects with the extremist group. The statement from the office of President Muhammadu Buhari was the first confirmation that his government had made a swap for the girls. After an initial release of 21 Chibok girls in October, the government denied making an exchange or paying ransom. The April 2014 abduction by Boko Haram brought the extremist group’s rampage in northern Nigeria to world attention, many of the captive girls, most of them Christians, were forced to marry their captors,It is feared that other girls were strapped with explosives and sent on missions as suicide bombers.Now 113 of the girls remain captive.The freed girls were expected to meet with Buhari on Sunday in the capital, Abuja.
Health workers confirmed the girls were not sexually abused while in captivity, and tested negative for sexually transmitted diseases. Many girls kidnapped by the Islamist militant group have been used as sex slaves, fighters and even suicide bombers, according to rights groups including Amnesty International. But the 21 freed girls said the militants treated them well while they were held captive, according to a confidential report based on their two-week debriefing prepared for President Muhammadu Buhari and seen by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Boko Haram jihadists killed two soldiers and razed a village adjoining the northeast Nigerian town of Chibok where the group kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls two years ago, residents said Sunday. “Boko Haram gunmen attacked the village around 19:30. They fired indiscriminately and hurled explosives,” resident Bitrus John told AFP. “They killed two soldiers and injured another one in gunfight,” he said. Troops patrolling the area engaged the Islamists in a shootout, allowing residents to flee the village unhurt, said John.