The Minister for Information and Culture has lambasted the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for criticising the swap deal that led to the release of 82 of the Kidnapped Chibok girls after the federal government released some Boko Haram suspects in its custody.
The Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the PDP had released a statement on Sunday saying that the decision to release Boko Haram fighters in exchange for the kidnapped girls was a bad idea.
“The release of the terrorists is a setback for the war on insurgency,” read the statement authored by the spokesman of the faction, Dayo Adeyeye.
“Their release is tantamount to releasing them to resume their war against society.
“The suspected terrorists by this release have escaped justice; and all the effort made by security agencies to bring them to book has come to nothing.
“The Boko Haram terrorists are emboldened to continue with their tactics of kidnapping innocent people with the belief that they can always use it to blackmail the Government to release their members and to extract other concessions,” the statement added.
But Mohammed in a statement by his media aide, Segun Adeyemi, roundly berated the opposition party describing it as “insensitive”.
“It is clear that the kind of disdain for human life which the PDP exhibited in its incautious statement is the same reason the poor girls were kidnapped in the first instance,” Adeyemi stated.
“It is also this attitude the then PDP-controlled Federal Government took that seemed an eternity before even acknowledging the abduction, thus losing critical time for their rescue.”
Adeyemi pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari had insisted that the war on terrorism would not have been won if the Chibok girls were not all rescued.
“If that includes swapping some Boko Haram elements for the girls, so what?” he queried.
“Will the PDP rather have the girls stay in perpetual captivity, just to prove a ludicrous point?
“Didn’t superpower United States engage in negotiations with the Taliban that led to the exchange of five Taliban fighters for US Army Sgt Bowe Bergdahl in 2014?
“Didn’t Israel release 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit in 2011?
“A lot of factors come into play when a nation has to decide whether or not to engage in prisoner/hostage swap.
“None, however, trounces the sanctity attached to human life and the consideration for the pains of the loved ones of those involved,’’ the statement added.
Adeyemi further stated that the PDP has no justification to comment on the release of the girls since it did nothing to rescue them after they were kidnapped in April 2014.