Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has met the freed Dapchi schoolgirls in the capital, Abuja, an aide to the President said Friday.
Buhari welcomed 105 Dapchi schoolgirls and their parents, along with two others – a boy and another girl formerly held by Boko Haram, the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, said in a statement.
The Nigerian government was working with local and international negotiators for the release of others being held by the terrorist group.
“While parents of the Dapchi girls rejoice because of the reunion with their children, I want to appeal to the Chibok Community never to lose hope or to despair,” the President said in a statement.
Boko Haram released most of the 110 schoolgirls it kidnapped last month to their hometown in Nigeria’s Yobe State on Wednesday.
The terrorist group sparked international outrage when its members captured about 300 girls – between the ages of 16 and 18 – from a boarding school in Chibok in Borno state in April 2014.
Eighty-two of the girls were freed in a swap last year. However, more than 100 of the girls remain in captivity, their whereabouts unknown.
Leah Sharibu, 15, one of the kidnapped Dapchi schoolgirls, is believed to still be in Boko Haram captivity.
Her father, Nathan, said he was told by the other girls released that Leah, 15, was left behind in a Boko Haram camp after she refused to renounce her Christian faith.
“I am very proud of Leah. She did not forsake Christ or lie about her faith to be freed,” the proud father told CNN.
“Her faith will see her through,” he added.