Groups, Individuals Rush To Broker Chibok Girls/Boko Haram Swap Deal

A recent video released by Boko Haram showed some of the girls while the terrorists said the others had been married off or had died in air strikes from the Nigerian Military
A recent video released by Boko Haram showed some of the girls alive while the terrorists said the others had either been married off or had died in air strikes by the Nigerian Military

A number of groups and individuals have reportedly shown interest in negotiating the Chibok girls/Boko Haram swap deal in response to President Muhammadu Buhari’s disclosure that his government was open to a deal with Boko Haram to get the Chibok girls out of captivity.

Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, who made the revelation said multiple groups with claims of contact with the Boko Haram had come forward with the proposal to link government up with the Boko Haram faction that is holding the girls.

Buhari had told journalists on the sidelines of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD VI, in Nairobi, that his government was prepared to take all the necessary measures to ensure the release of the girls.

The president said government was ready to enter into discussions with genuine leaders of the Boko Haram sect with the knowledge of the whereabouts of the girls.

He said such leaders could reach the Federal Government through an internationally recognised non-governmental organisation and show proof that they have the girls.

The president was reacting to a video that was released by Boko Haram earlier in the month where the group showed some of the girls and a spokesman stated that the girls would be released if government agreed to release insurgents in detention.

But speaking to Daily Trust on Sunday, Shehu said the Federal Government was being “prudent, careful and scrupulous” in every line of action it was taking to secure the freedom of the girls.

For that reason, he said, the nation’s intelligence agencies had been involved in scrutinising the groups that had come forward, as well as their claims.

 “The comments by the president have aroused interests and offers in certain quarters, from people who claim to have contacts with the group (Boko Haram).

“The intelligence agencies are scrutinising them. They are being careful this time around because of what happened in the past.

“Every offer is being investigated and verified. The president has always maintained that he wants to see a group that has the mandate of the sect and has a proof of possession (of the girls) and the willingness to discuss,” he said.

In addition to the groups, the presidential spokesperson said security agents who have served in the North-East were also supplying information that could aid the girls’ rescue, just as Boko Haram members currently in detention were also trying to prove their capacity to lead the way to their leaders, in order to get the girls returned.



    “Nobody knows the way to the girls, but all options are being followed. Every line of action will be followed to a logical conclusion, with the hope that this time around, we will get it right.

    “The president is very passionate about returning these girls to their parents,” Shehu said.

    He added that the government would be guided by the provisions of the constitution when the need arose to discuss the release of Boko Haram commanders in exchange for the girls.

    “There is nothing the government will do in releasing the commanders that will violate the constitution of the country. Everything will be done in accordance with the provision of our laws,” he said.

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