Why Fed Govt should swap Chibok girls for militants | Nigeria Newspaper- Nigeria News| Naija News


Why Fed Govt should swap Chibok girls for militants

Why Fed Govt should swap Chibok girls  for militants
IF Kabu Yakubu and her wife, Esther, parents of one of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, Dorcas, have their way, all detained Boko Haram fighters would be swapped for the more than 200 girls still being held by the militants.

The duo yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to free the militants in exchange for the girls, who were abducted on April 14, 2014, from their dormitory at Government Girls’ Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State.
Their appeal came hours after watching her daughter speak in the new video released by the Boko Haram insurgents demanding the swap of their detained members with the Chibok girls
The video posted by the insurgents on Sunday showed dozens of the 218 girls who were abducted two years ago, with one saying that “some” have died in air strikes by troops on the militants’ hideouts.
They said the video rekindled their hope of reuniting with their daughter someday.
Mrs. Yakubu was quoted as saying: “The Chibok girls must be rescued. They must have their lives, the future that Boko Haram tries to truncate.
“I wanted her to have the best of education; I planned to sponsor her education to whatever level she wanted; but she could not sit for her final examinations because she was abducted.
“Boko Haram in the video asked the government to release their members so that they could release our girls. If the government knows that it cannot handle the insurgency, it should invite other countries. It is not a crime to seek assistance in a war. It is a shame for them to allow our daughters to languish in captivity for over two years.
“I don’t regret sending her to school, but I regret putting her in boarding school. If she was a day student, she would be home with me that night. The abduction affected her because she was in boarding school.”
Apart from her daughter, Mrs. Yakubu said she recognised about 20 other girls in the latest video.
Her words: “I recognised Saratu Ayuba, Awa Ishaiya and others. In that video, Dorcas has grown up a little and she is slimmer. I cried when I saw her in the video. That is only change I observe, but I thank God she is alive.
“All the girls that have been rescued have rescued themselves. Not any government has rescued them, no army rescued them.”
Echoing her wife, Mr Yakubu urged the government to release the detained Boko Haram members in exchange for the girls, saying that the demand had boosted his hope that his daughter and others would eventually make it home.
His words: “I will sleep well because since she was kidnapped, I have never seen her in other videos released. But today (Sunday), I saw her in the video, and my joy was rekindled.
“What we have been telling the government is what Boko Haram demanded in the video. We are appealing to the government to help us to release Boko Haram detainees so they can release our daughters.
“In the video, my daughter was begging the government to negotiate with the terrorists and they (Boko Haram) said unless the government releases their members who were being detained in Abuja, Lagos and Maiduguri prisons, they won’t release the girls.”
Dozens of the girls escaped on their own within hours of the mass abduction of 276 students that shocked the world.
In May, a lone Chibok girl escaped from the Boko Haram stronghold in Sambisa Forest, saying she was led to freedom by her disillusioned Boko Haram ‘husband’.
She was carrying a baby.
The Bring Back Our Girls (#BBOG) campaigners are also pressing for a prisoner exchange, claiming that the President “rode to power” on the back of their cause, but has not done enough to free the girls.
“Mr. Buhari can absolutely afford to trade terrorists’ lives for schoolgirls,” said human rights lawyer Emmanuele Ogebe, whose Education Must Continue campaign is paying to educate some of the escaped Chibok girls in the U.S.
He questioned the President’s sincerity, noting that President Buhari said in May that he had not watched a proof-of-life video sent by Boko Haram to encourage negotiations, apparently as early as January.

Learning from past pitfalls
According to Information & Culture Minister Lai Mohammed, the Federal Government has been wary of talks with the militants as previous negotiations failed because officials have been duped into talks with the wrong people.
The minister said: “We are being extremely careful,” information minister Lai Mohammed said in a statement. “We want to be doubly sure that those we are in touch with are who they claim to be.”
A fighter who speaks in the video hints at who could mediate. “We want the government to know that … we don’t trust you, except some few journalists. We have never sent out or accept to be approached by anybody except journalists that we trust.”
The video was posted by a Nigerian journalist Ahmad Salkida, who lives in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE) and is known to have good contacts in Boko Haram.
Salkida said the video was sent to him by Abubakar Shekau’s wing of Boko Haram.
On Sunday night, the military declared Mr Salkida wanted man, claiming he has “information on the conditions and the exact location of these girls”.
But the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday disputed Boko Haram claim that some of the abducted girls have been killed during military bombings of theirs in Sambisa Forest.
Defence spokesman Brig.-Gen. Rabe Abubakar said in a statement: “It is extremely difficult and rare to hit innocent people during air strikes because the operation is done through precision attacks on identified and registered targets and locations.”


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