According to reports, the Federal Government has said that the release of 21 Chibok girls on Thursday was not a product of swapping of Boko Haram terrorists in detention.
Rather, the Federal Government said it was a product of intense negotiation.
The position of the Federal Government was stated on Thursday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a news briefing.
Mohammed confirmed the earlier stated position of the Presidency that the release of the girls involved negotiations by the International Red Cross Society and some European nations.
He said based on the outcome of the negotiation, the Department of State Services was told to pursue the lead for the reclaiming of the girls, which eventually came through on Thursday morning.
The girls were released to DSS operatives at about 5:30am.
Mohammed said: “Gentlemen, as we have always said, we have been working on the safe release of the girls and following all the leads available.
“In this instance, the moment we had a credible lead, Mr President gave the green-light to the DSS to pursue it. We can confirm that the DSS pursued the lead in collaboration with a friendly European country and a renowned international humanitarian organization. The DSS was supported by the military.
“ As soon as the necessary confidence was built on both sides, the parties agreed on the date and the location of the release of the 21 girls.
“Please note that this is not a swap.
“It is a release, the product of painstaking negotiations and trust on both sides.”
Mohammed said the girls will arrive Abuja any moment from now.
He said they are at present in Kaduna State, where they were flown to upon their release in Borno State.
He said: We expect the released girls to land in Abuja shortly.
“Ahead of their arrival, we have assembled a team of medical doctors, psychologists, social workers, trauma experts, etc to properly examine the girls, especially because they have been in captivity for so long.
“They will also be adequately debriefed.
“We have the list of the 21 girls but we are now contacting their parents as part of the necessary verification exercise.
“As soon as that is concluded, we will release the names to the public.”