The Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has opened up on issues of
He stated on his birthday; “The issues of Chibok Girls and the newly formed party, APC, has been an untold story. He revealed his discussions with the ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan…
When I’m asked my thoughts about Nigeria, I have to admit that my initial comment is often: “Truth is optional.” It may sound pessimistic, but time and again information circulated in the form of official government statements has proved to be blatant lies to the media and Nigerians on matters of national security, or the rescue of the 219 schoolgirls still missing from the town of Chibok in Borno. The tide has turned, and the truth can no longer be optional, because the truth will save lives
Buhari had also publicly declared that his administration would defeat Boko Haram by the end of 2015, and later announced that the insurgents had been “technically defeated”. And yet despite its technical defeat last year, the Council on Foreign Relations Nigeria Security Tracker indicates that so far this year the number of people killed by Boko Haram has exceeded 200. The multinational joint taskforce of troops from Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria has made progress with counter-insurgency, but more needs to be done not only in defeating Boko Haram, but in protecting communities that remain vulnerable to possible further attacks.
Thanks to a recent article in the New York Times, “Boko Haram turns female captives into terrorists”, we have confirmation of what many have suspected. The piece clearly depicts the strategic plan to use women and girls as weapons through food deprivation, rape and promises of eternal life if they fulfil suicide missions. The tactics described mirror the stories from women kidnapped and raped by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda. This detailed account of what a victim endures at the hands of Boko Haram is more reliable than any information previously publicly offered by the Nigerian security forces or federal government.
Last year, I visited an internal displacement camp in Abuja and witnessed the devastation experienced by communities due to Boko Haram’s insurgency and ongoing regional conflict. What I saw was a situation worse than I had realised. While the world has stayed vigilant in its call for the rescue of the Chibok girls, a humanitarian crisis has emerged that needs our urgent attention.
On Wednesday, October 14, the military was contacted to deploy some of its men to a particular location in Banki, a border town in Bama local government area of Borno State, to pick up the 21 girls, officials said.
The girls were released at 5:30 am on Thursday and immediately flown to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, in a chopper.
The Nigerian government announced the release of the girls on Thursday morning, hours after they were successfully received from insurgents in the highly confidential operation.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, dismissed reports that the girls were rescued in exchange for top-level suspected Boko Haram detainees across the country.
The release was a “product of painstaking negotiations and trust on both sides,” Mr. Mohammed said at a world press conference Thursday afternoon. “Please note that this is not a swap. It is a release.”
Mr. Mohammed’s comments that the girls were not released based on a prisoner swap deal immediately sparked speculation that the government may have paid ransom.
However, presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, denied that any ransom was paid.
Mr. Buhari had repeatedly stated his willingness to rescue the girls even if it required swapping them with suspected terrorists in custody.
A government source said negotiations for the release of the remaining girls were continuing.