Reports reveal that the Federal Government paid €3m to secure the release of some Chibok schoolgirls held by terrorist group Boko Haram.
Boko Haram, back in 2014, kidnapped 276 girls from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno state with 276, 163 being rescued afterwards and 57 fleeing weeks after their abduction. 3 Others also escaped and a Swiss-coached mediation secured 103.
October 13, 2016, saw 21 of the 103 freed while the remaining 82 were freed on May 6 this year.
Wall Street Journal in a detailed report has now revealed that the FG paid €1m for the release of the 21 girls first freed, and an additional €2m for the five Boko Haram commanders that were exchanged with the next batch: the 82 girls.
Ahmad Salkida, a journalist who has links with the sect, and Zannah Mustapha, a lawyer, played key mediators involved in both deals.
The plan called for two exchanges. In the first one, Boko Haram would free 20 Chibok hostages in exchange for €1m.
If both sides were satisfied with the outcome, the rest of the girls who wanted to come home would be swapped in the second exchange in return for €2 and five imprisoned Boko Haram commanders.
“As Mustapha worked through the details and tried to maintain the confidence of both sides, the Nigerian government began the delicate process of finding prisoners Shekau would deem acceptable.
“Salkida was the man picked for the task. He began to crisscross Nigeria combing jails and interviewing inmates, looking for militants who fit the profile.”
The President was eager for a victory. He also loathed the idea of paying Boko Haram. No one knew if he would sign off,” it said.
In the end, he approved the deal, with a condition: He insisted that any money that reached Boko Haram would be a step toward a comprehensive peace agreement.
Since the insurgents collected their €3m, some Nigerian officials say an army that had struggled to feed itself seems replenished,” it stated
TheCable, however, made it know they were unable to independently verify the claims concerning the payment.
Femi Adesina, Buhari’s spokesman, when contacted neither confirmed nor denied the claims.