Nigeria: Release of 317 abducted school girls in Zamfara State

The girls who were captured last Friday at their boarding school in Jangebe, Zamfara State, were released at dawn on Tuesday morning. There are 279 of them, according to local authorities who were talking at the beginning of 317 captives. The high school girls were received by the local governor before dawn.
The ceremony that took place on the morning of Tuesday, March 2 in the Zamfara government offices was very similar to the one that followed the liberation of the youth of Kankara in December or the high school students of Kagara last Saturday. Governor Bello Mattawale received the former hostages with great pomp and ceremony and welcomed their release in an official speech. But, once again, nothing is known about the conditions of their release.
Like his counterparts in the states of Niger and Katsina before him, the governor of Zamfara assures that no ransom has been paid to the kidnappers of the schoolgirls – although this is doubtful. President Muhammadu Buhari himself has raised the issue several times in recent days. And this morning, the head of state said he was “filled with joy” at the announcement of the release of the schoolgirls. He also recalled that “the payment of ransoms will continue to make kidnapping flourish”.
This weekend, the head of state had criticized in half a word the rewards given to the leaders of criminal groups in the region when they agree to surrender their weapons. These amnesty agreements with opaque terms may have recently fuelled the rivalry between the very many local gangs. This could be one possible explanation for the recent increase in kidnappings in northwestern Nigeria.