The Department of State Services, DSS on Saturday briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the release, through negotiations, of three UNIMAID lecturers abducted by suspected Boko Haram terrorists in Magumeri, Borno State.
In October 2016 and May 2017 the ICRC was also an intermediary in the release of some of the 200 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram from the town of Chibok in 2014.
Recently, the terrorists reportedly announced that the group carried out several attacks in Nigeria's north-eastern regions during the Christmas season.
Presidency sources say their release followed series of clandestine negotiations as directed by President Mohammad Buhari which was facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC.
Following their release, President Muhammadu Buhari received a briefing from the Department of State Services (DSS) on the rescued 13 people, who were abducted at different times past year by the Boko Haram sect. Doctors and psychologists are ready to help the victims, who may meet the president before being released to their families if there are no security issues, he said. Mr. Lawal Daura, DSS Director-General, assured the President that they were working hard to bring home the remaining girls.
All the thirteen rescued persons are in the custody of the members of the Directorate of state security DSS and are on their way to Abuja as at the time of filing this report.
They returned around 4:30 pm with the 10 women and three men, who were then flown in four helicopters - two ICRC, one military, one police - to Maiduguri. The armed opposition handed the 13 people over to ICRC representatives who transported them to Nigerian authorities.
ICRC, however, said in a separate statement on Saturday night that it was not involved in the negotiation that led to the release of the kidnapped persons.
"There are many people missing or being held against their will due to the conflict", said Youssef. "We hope that these people, too, will get to return to their families soon".