THE Boko Haram video of the Chibo girls that emerged last week reveals that quite a number of the girls are still alive, and the terror group’s leadership is demanding that the girls be swapped with its fighters in the detention of the Nigerian military.
Since the coming of the Muhammadu Buhari government, the military has sustained its onslaught on the terror group, which has largely been defeated, and it is only struggling for survival now.
The bold statement by the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai that Boko Haram can no longer stage attacks against Nigerian targets shows how that the existence of the group is nearing its end, and apart of the strategies it is employing is the release of the video of the Chibok girls. The Boko Haram leadership is using the innocent girls as bait in its survival tactics, and the Nigerian government should capitalise on this and negotiate the release of the girls.
One thing is sure, our military has regained the professionalism through which it prosecuted the Liberian and Sierra Leonean civil wars, and even if the Boko Haram foot soldiers are released, they no longer have the means to attack Nigerians. This is a great opportunity for us as a nation to secure the release of the girls which has caused us global shame.
We can imagine mothers and relatives of the victims seeing their daughters in that video and they have no power to rescue them. No one can imagine the pain the families of the victims are going through now, and taking the decision to rescue the girls, even through the exchange of captives, will go a long way in easing the pain in their hearts.
I, therefore, want to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, to give the military the go-ahead to negotiate the release of the Chibok girls with the Boko Haram leadership. However, the military must ascertain that those who they will be speaking with have direct links with the leadership of the terror group, so that their efforts won’t be exercise in futility.
- Nelson Ekwale,