Only The President Can Release Boko Haram Detainees – Military

Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin
Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin

Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Abayomi Olonisakin, has said that the decision to release detained Boko Haram members, can only be made by the President.

In a new video posted on Sunday, the terrorist group insists that the only condition for them to release the kidnapped Chibok school girls is for the military to release Boko Haram fighters detained in various facilities across the country.

But Olonisakin, when interviewed by State House Correspondents after a meeting of the country’s service chiefs in the Presidential Villa, reiterated that the military will sustain its operations against Boko Haram insurgents.

“That (call for the swap of the girls with Boko Haram fighters) is a political decision to be taken. The military decision is that we are going ahead with our operations. The operation is being conducted appropriately,” he said.

“We are analysing the video released by Boko Haram and we will make appropriate comments at the right time,” he added.

The CDS denied the reports that the military turned back one of the three persons declared wanted by the Army on Sunday.

“Nobody reported to my men and was turned back,” he said.



    Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, who also spoke to journalists, maintained that the government was in talks with Boko Haram sect for the release of the girls, adding that government is being cautious “to ensure it was speaking with the right group as the sect had been factionalised.”

    “There are few things we need to do behind the scene. What we are saying is that the government is committed to doing everything to rescue these girls,” he said.

    Mohammed added: “We are engaging them. By saying we are talking to them, I am talking from a point of knowledge. It does not matter what other people say. I know that the government is in touch with the group,” he said.

    “For us, it is not just because of the release of the video but because of our belief that there will be no final closure to Boko Haram until we are able to resolve the issue of these girls,” he said.


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