PHOTOS: See Dapchi Girls' New Look
One month and a day in the custody of Boko Haram could ruffle a beautiful girl and leave her looking distraught.
This best describes the look of the returned Dapchi girls, whose joy that they made it back to the community alive, was swallowed up by the trauma written all over their faces.
Five of them had lost their lives and were buried by the members of the splinter group of Boko Haram in line with Islamic rites.
The government had negotiated their release and gave this faction of Boko Haram free entry and exit into Dapchi without confrontation - the cold strategy.
President Muhammadu Buhari had told the United States that Nigeria would negotiate with the terrorists, a position the United State would not take against a terrorists group. But that negotiation has now paved way for the return of the girls.
When the girls came back on Wednesday, it took parents a little time to recognise their daughters as some of them had become a shadow of their real self.
A teacher of the Technical College where the girls were abducted from on February 20, who requested anonymity, told Bounce News that the girls' uniforms were replaced with a regalia in keeping with Boko Haram's way of dressing returned victims.
They had been stripped of their uniforms which depict Western education, which the group kicks against.
Again, the government has got in its hands, battered girls who will need to undergo rehabilitation to take the trauma away from them and replace it with a hope and need to continue with their education.
After the girls were released, social networks activities inched up with some persons claiming it was a scam.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party took the front line in this claim.
The government had told Nigerians that the girls were returned without any ransom. It was the outcome of “backchannel” negotiations, the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, told reporters.
It was too easy for Boko Haram to walk in and out of Dapchi and this has become another source of worry.
Nigeria's northeast has become a region where lives could be toiled with and girls taken captive at will, without military confrontation.
Also Read: Army Hands Over #DapchiGirls To Government
Huge sums of money have been poured into this fight against insurgents, with the government again ready to draw $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account for this same fight.
Nigeria’s struggle against the terrorist group seems to have increased, when the Department of State Service said it had identified an Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) network operating within some North Central and South-South sections of the country.
They have now gained recognition of the government with this negotiation and this could potend grave danger.