A group of schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria by terror group Boko Haram were released and returned to their hometown of Dapchi, the Nigerian government announced on Wednesday.
Nigeria had secured the release "through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country", Mohammed said in a separate statement. Coincidentally, some of the Chibok families had already made plans to travel to Dapchi that day to lend their moral support before it was known that most of the girls had been released.
He said his daughter told him they left a Boko Haram camp on Saturday to make the journey to Dapchi.
"The 76 are those who have been documented so far", he said, adding that they were released at about 3:00 a.m. (0200 GMT) and that a full head-count was under way.
Freed girls and relatives said one schoolgirl was still in captivity, while five had died. Some where dropped on the road and they went back naturally to their parents Houses.
Garba Shehu, one of the spokespersons to President Muhammadu Buhari, confirmed the latest information, but did not give many details.
"The release of the Dapchi girls has certainly gladdened the hearts of the affected parents, relations, the Yobe State Government and other Nigerians".
The minister said the sect agreed to drop the girls in the town where they were abducted.
Many parents were reunited with their daughters on Wednesday.
"We fled but, from our hiding, we could see them and surprisingly, we saw our girls getting out of the vehicles", Umar Hassan told the AP. "Now they have been empowered, even with police officers wives, the federal government went and negotiated with them and they were given money", Senator Joshua Lidani representing Gombe South said.
"The authorities must immediately release them, and ensure that they are able to return to their families or be provided with an alternative safe option if they so-choose". Some 100, however, are believed to remain in captivity.