President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised not to facilitate the over 200 abducted Chibok schoolgirls being held captive by Boko Haram through military operation. A former Director at the Military Defence Headquarters, Brigadier-General Ayodele Ojo (retd.), has advised the President to release Boko Haram members in exchange for the schoolgirls rather than use military operations to rescue them. In a recent interview, Ojo said, “I personally will not canvass for a military rescue operation. Such operation is fraught with danger, no matter how meticulously or painstakingly planned. Take, for instance, the United States’ military attempt in 1980 at a rescue operation of its 52 diplomats held hostage in Iran.
“Despite the planning that went into it, the rescue operation not only failed, but it resulted in the death of eight American soldiers and the destruction of two of its military aircraft. Having this (botched US rescue operation) at the back of our minds and relating it to getting the Chibok girls back alive, the best option is to negotiate for their release. In doing so, the government should consider the possibility of swapping. Fortunately the President is not averse to negotiations.”
Ojo further added, “The Jordanian government was also prepared to swap its pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh, captured by the Islamic State with Sajida al-Rishawi, a failed suicide bomber in the Jordanian government custody since 2005, whose release ISIS had demanded for. Please note that the failed suicide bomber had been in Jordanian custody for nine good years. Yet, they were prepared to swap her for their pilot. I am, therefore, pleading with the Federal Government to swap the Boko Haram bomb experts with the Chibok girls.”