Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari reportedly rejected an offer by Islamic terror group Boko Haram to give back the more than 200 kidnapped Christian Chibok schoolgirls in exchange for 1.7 Trillion Nigerian naira, which amounts to around $5.6 billion USD.
NAIJ reported on Wednesday that the revelations were made in the book Muhammadu Buhari: The challenges of leadership in Nigeria, authored by Prof. John Paden, which examines the major events behind Buhari’s presidency.
“On several occasions, prisoners were taken to Maiduguri to facilitate an exchange. But these negotiations stalled when Boko Haram demanded a ransom of €5billion for the girls,” the book noted.
“The dilemma for the DSS, which was handling the negotiations, was that a military assault to rescue the girls would almost certainly result in their deaths at the hands of their Boko Haram captors.”
Buhari has vowed to drive out Boko Haram from the country, and to free the Chibok girls who were kidnapped in April 2014, which made international news, but he has reportedly refused to give in to the demands of the jihadist group.
The book pointed out that there are thousands of other women and children victims of Boko Haram beside the Chibok girls who need help.
“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. 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,” Paden noted.
A new video of the kidnapped Chibok girls was finally released in August, showing that the girls are still alive and with their captors.
“We are not happy living here,” said one of the girls, who gave her name as Maida Yakubu. “I’m begging our parents to meet the government to release their people so that we can be released.”
There are fears that a number of the schoolgirls have been raped and forced into Islamic marriages, though the parents have said they are not giving up hopes to see them alive again.
“The fact is we are overwhelmed with a feeling of depression. It’s like being beaten and being stopped from crying. You helplessly watch your daughter but there is nothing you can do. It’s a real heartache. Those who are still alive – we want them back. We want them back irrespective of their condition,” said Samuel Yaga, the father of abducted schoolgirl Serah Samuel.
“As ordinary men, there is nothing we (the other fathers and I) can do on our own. We are just here unable to do anything with our lives. You see your child but someone denies you from having it. They are being forcefully married and they now live in terrible conditions,” he added.