Nigeria denies reports of swap deal for release of Chibok girls
Boko Haram had always insisted on swapping their men in Nigerian prisons for the abducted girls.
LAGOS - The Nigerian government has come out strongly to deny reports in some section of the Nigerian press that the r elease of the 21 Chibok girls was made possible following a swap deal with four top Boko Haram commanders being held by the Nigerian government.
Boko Haram had always insisted on swapping their men in Nigerian prisons for the abducted Chibok girls.
But while addressing the media shortly after the federal government confirmed the release of the 21 girls, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed insisted that the girls were released as part of confidence building measures with Boko Haram.
"Please note that this is not a swap, it's release. A product of painstaking negotiations and trust on both sides. I repeat; this is not a swap, it was a release."
The minister also said military operations against Boko Haram will continue side by side with dialogue.
The names of the 21 Chibok girls freed by Boko Haram on Thursday have been released.
The names, which were not made public immediately following their release, was later made public by the Office of the Vice President of Nigeria.
The release of the 21 girls comes two-and-a-half years after their abduction from a secondary school in Chibok, in the state of Borno.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and his wife visited the girls at a security hospital in Abuja where they have been recuperating.
The first or last names of the girls seem to also justify another long held assumption that most of the girls abducted were Christians.