Wednesday, 5 October 2016

President Buhari rejects Boko Haram’s ₦1.7trillion ransom for Chibok girls

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Degraded Boko Haram insurgents are said to have demanded €5bn (amounting to about N1.7trillion) from the Federal Government as ransom for the release of the abducted Chibok school girls.

Recall that over 200 secondary school girls were abducted in 2014 from Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State.
Following the abduction of the girls, President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to reiterate his commitment towards the rescue  of the girls.
A Professor of International Studies, John Paden, in a biography recently launched in Abuja, titled: “Muhammadu Buhari: The challenges of leadership in Nigeria,” disclosed that the government rejected the demand.
Paden, in his book, gave account of the botched negotiation between the Islamic sect and the Federal Government for the rescue of the abducted girls.
An excerpt of the book reads, “An additional issue was the status of the Chibok girls. Secret negotiations had been held regarding an exchange of Boko Haram prisoners for the girls.
“On several occasions, prisoners were taken to Maiduguri to facilitate an exchange. But these negotiations stalled when Boko Haram demanded a ransom of €5billion for the girls.
“The dilemma for the DSS, which was handling the negotiations, was that a military assault to rescue the girls would almost certainly result in their deaths at the hands of their Boko Haram captors.
“But the Nigerian government was not going to accede to Boko Haram’s extra-ordinary demand for a vast sum of money which would no doubt be used to fund future attacks.
“One or two girls were able to escape their captors in May, but the rest remained captive and the impasse continued.
“The Chibok girls were not alone in their grim fate. Hundreds, if not thousands, of persons had been captured by Boko Haram in the North-East. Buhari would need to continue degrading Boko Haram until he could tighten the noose around its Sambisa hideouts and bring a close end to this painful episode.”

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