Hundreds of Nigerian schoolboys have been freed after being kidnapped by the jihadist terrorist group Boko Haram last week.
Governor Aminu Bello Masari addressed the nation via its state channel NTA. He said that a total of 344 boys had been freed but did not know whether all of the kidnapped boys had been arrested. “We have recovered most of the boys. It’s not all of them,” he said.
Masari added that the government negotiated with the terrorist group for the boys’ freedom. No ransom was paid. “We thank God that they took our advice and not a single shot was fired,” he said.
Boko Haram took responsibility for the raid via an audio message from a man identifying himself as the leader of the Nigeria-based jihadist terrorist organization.
Boko Haram roughly translates to “Western education is forbidden.”
“We are behind what happened in Katsina,” said the man in the audio, which was sent to Reuters via a Whatsapp message. “What happened in Katsina was done to promote Islam and discourage un-Islamic practices as Western education is not the type of education permitted by Allah and his holy prophet.”
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari took to Twitter to share the good news: “This is a huge relief to the entire country & international community.”
“Our administration is fully aware of the responsibility we have to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians. I ask Nigerians to be patient and fair to us as we deal with the challenges of security, the economy, and corruption. We will not relent,” he wrote.