Fresh facts have emerged on the botched negotiation between Boko Haram and the Federal Government as regards the release of the Chibok girls. These were revealed in the authorized biography of President Buhari – “Muhammadu Buhari: The challenges of leadership in Nigeria” – authored by Prof. John Paden. Excerpts from the book revealed that: “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.”