1. Girls who were kidnapped from a boarding school in the northwest Nigerian state of Zamfara, are seen after their release in Zamfara , Nigeria March 2, 2021. REUTERS-Afolabi Sotunde

The Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has said repentant bandits negotiated the release of the Jangebe schoolgirls and that no ransom was paid.

Matawalle stated this in an interview with BBC Hausa service Tuesday morningfollowing the release of 279 schoolgirls earlier in the morning.

He said about 30 bandits, who embraced his peace dialogue, helped facilitate the negotiation and secured the release of the abducted schoolgirls without the payment of ransom.

Matawalle said all the released 279 students were hale and hearty and would be reunited with their families afterward.

The governor also appealed to the federal government to improve security surveillance to protect vulnerable schools and prevent further attacks on schools.

Newsmen earlier reported how the schoolgirls were released after four days in captivity.

Matawalle said all the abducted girls were freed, correcting the impression that some of the girls were still in captivity or missing.

The governor said the school register showed the actual number of those abducted to be 279 and not 317.

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