The Federal Government has reaffirmed its willingness to negotiate with Boko Haram to free over 200 girls forcefully taken from Chibok, Borno State.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, reiterated government’s commitment to rescue the girls abducted.
According to Mohammed “No group, local or international, can claim to be more committed to the rescue of the girls than the federal government.
“The North-East is free now, students are returning to schools.
“All the towns and communities, hitherto, under the control of Boko Haram have been liberated.
The minister said the present administration had thrice established links with the Boko Haram for the exchange of the abducted girls with the arrested members of the terrorist group.
He explained that on each occasion, the efforts were thwarted by either the link with the terrorist, fresh demands by Boko Haram or division in the camp of the terrorist group.
A United States don, Professor John Paden, had written a biography of President Buhari. He too made startling revelations on negotiations with Boko Haram.
According to Professor Paden, “Boko Haram demanded that the FG give them €5billion (about N1, 706,850,000,000) in exchange of the 219 Chibok girls.
President Buhari flatly turned down the offer.
“On several occasions, prisoners were taken to Maiduguri to facilitate an exchange.
“But these negotiations stalled when Boko Haram demanded a ransom of €5 billion for the girls.
“But the Nigerian government was not going to accede to Boko Haram’s extra-ordinary demand for a vast sum of money.
“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,” Professor Paden said.
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.