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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Latest News as FG trying to negotiate with Boko Haram on how to end suicide bombings

The information reaching us now following the release of 82 Chibok school girls, indications have emerged that the Federal Government will initiate fresh talks on how to end suicide missions with the Abubakar Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram and ensure return of normalcy to communities in the North-eastern part of the country.

art of the talks is to also free more girls still trapped in the sect’s custody.

This comes as Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo said yesterday that the government will step up welfare packages for the victims as more details of how the
Federal Government negotiated release of the 82 Chibok school girls with the leadership of the Boko Haram sect emerged, last night. A top source close to the deal, told newsmen that the entire negotiation was done with the Abubakar Shekau faction of the sect, holed up in remote areas of the N-East.

Although there were claims last week that Shekau had been fatally wounded by the military and one of his commanders killed in a deadly offensive, the top source confirmed to newsmen that Shekau was fully involved in deliberations for release of the school girls. The official said: “We actually met and discussed the terms of the release of the girls and the commanders with the Shekau faction and he was fully involved in all the stages of the deliberations.

What we did this time around was direct swap, which did not involve the payment of ransom as was earlier contemplated.

“I can confirm to you that no fewer than five top commanders of Boko Haram were freed in exchange for the 82 girls and I think that it was a very good bargain with the sect’s leadership. Once that number was agreed upon, the five commanders were taken to an agreed location inside the forest where they were exchanged directly with the girls, on Saturday.

That was how the whole thing was done. “It was a tedious and daring process but we had to do it.” The source revealed that apart from the Chibok girls, there were thousands of other Nigerian women still trapped in the enclave of Boko Haram terrorists who must be rescued.

He said the Federal Government and the sect leadership had agreed to open discussions on how to free all the girls in the custody of Boko Haram and end atrocities and hostilities orchestrated by the terrorists. We have also agreed to begin talks on how to end suicide missions by the terrorists so as to ensure the return of normalcy to communities in the North-eastern part of the country.’’

Swap deal, setback in insurgency war — PDP

The Ahmed Makarfi faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had described the swap deal as a setback to the fight against insurgency. In a statement, Dayo Adeyeye, spokesman of the faction, said their release is an opportunity for them to resume attacks on the society. The spokesman said many of them will recruit members that would be used as suicide bombers.

“While we welcome the release of the girls, we do not think that exchanging innocent girls for hardened criminals like the terrorists is the right approach,” Adeyeye said in a statement.

“The release of the terrorists is a setback for the war on insurgency. Their release is tantamount to releasing them to resume their war against society. Many of them could find their ways back to the terrorists camps from where they could unleash terror against the country.

The piecemeal release of the girls means the terrorists want to extract more concessions from the government which in the end can only prolong the insurgency.”

PDP faction’s statement inhuman — FG

Countering, the Federal Government, yesterday, described the PDP faction’s statement as indecent, inhuman and ill-timed. In a statement issued by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the government said it is patently insensitive for any individual or organization to seek to douse, on the altar of politics, the universal joy that has greeted the release of the 82 girls – the highest number so far freed since their unfortunate abduction under the watch of the PDP over three years ago.

He said from the ill-advised statement, it is clear that the PDP, whose incompetence and cluelessness precipitated the Chibok girls crisis in the first instance, is not wishing and praying for it to end with the safe return of the abducted girls.

‘’In his inaugural address, President Muhammadu Buhari said the Administration cannot claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls.

He also said this government will do all it can to rescue them alive. ‘’If that includes swapping some Boko Haram elements for the girls, so what? 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?”

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