By Rafiu Ajakaye
LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) - Three university teachers and 10 women, who were abducted last year during separate Boko Haram ambushes on security convoys in northeastern Borno state, have been freed following negotiations, the government announced Saturday night.
The lecturers were abducted last year July around Lake Chad while the women, believed to be wives of some police officers, were kidnapped on June 10, 2017, when their convoy was ambushed by militants.
“The Department of State Services [DSS] Saturday briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the release through negotiations of three University of Maiduguri [UNIMAID] lecturers abducted by suspected Boko Haram terrorists in Magumeri, Borno State,” presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement.
“Also released from the Boko Haram terrorists are 10 women, kidnapped in a raid by the militant group on a military/police convoy on Damboa road, near Maiduguri.”
Shehu said their release followed negotiations directed by Buhari and facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
“According to the brief given by the DSS, all 13 rescued persons are in the custody of the service and are on their way to Abuja with the assistance of the Nigerian army and the air force.
“In expectation of their being brought to the DSS headquarters, a team of doctors and psychologists has been placed on standby. The rescued persons may be presented to the president and, thereafter, released to their families, if there are no issues of security or medical concerns,” the statement added.
Buhari also urged the secret police and the army to step up efforts to bring home the remaining Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted in 2014.