Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara says repentant bandits assisted security agencies in the operation that led to the Jangebe schoolgirls’ rescue.
The governor, who received the girls at about 5 am on Tuesday in Gusau, said the 279 girls were returned safely without a ransom paid to the bandits.
“This is the result of our peace efforts (with bandits) and putting to shame all those saying there is no security in this country.
“We have been in discussion since Friday with the abductors and reached an agreement on Monday by 4 pm that the girls were released.
“We are happy that all 279 have safely returned. They will undergo medical checks and given balanced diets to recuperate by the state government before they are handed back to their respective families.
“I want to appeal to parents not to remove their children from school as a result of this. We will ensure additional security in all the schools.
“We thank all media outlets for their support throughout these trying times,” the governor said.
Matawalle congratulated the parents of the victims and Nigerians for the safe return of the girls.
On Friday, armed bandits abducted the female students from their dormitories in Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe.
One of the victims, Hafsatu Anka, an SS II student who spoke in tears, said they laid in trenches littered with human faeces.
“We saw other people, including women and children and father of one of our schoolmates who had been in the den for three months.
“They walked us on foot, and some of us had a dislocation in our foot. They would pray as Muslims but never allowed us to pray, and they fed us with rice in which they put sand after cooking,” Miss Hafsat narrated.