The Federal Government is reportedly in a secrete meeting with the Boko Haram on how to free the remaining 219 abducted Chibok girls, The Nation reports.
According to a source, who spoke with The Nation, a likely swap of the girls with some detained Boko Haram members is said to be highly considered, although the government has not made up its mind.
Man claiming to be leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, in video screengrab, unknown location, Sept. 25, 2013.
It was gathered that the talk with the insurgents had been on since the past 14 days although the source refused to name the groups and personalities involved in it.
One of the facilitators, who didn’t want to be named because he is not authorised to talk to newsmen said: “We are inching to a reasonable agreement on the release of the Chibok girls. I think a fundamental result will soon be achieved. The mediators are really sincere to end the hostage of the girls. There will be something positive soon.”
The facilitator, who declined to disclose details of what he termed the “new deal”, said: “All the parties are hopeful. That was why the Council of State was optimistic about approach to the rescue of the Chibok girls by the government”.
Meanwhile, other sources within the government as well as the military confirmed the development.
Related: FG Probes Politicians Aiding Boko Haram
One of the security personnel, who didn’t want his name mentioned said: “The military hierarchy is aware that a kind of negotiation or discussion is on and it is being facilitated by some mediators. This is purely a government thing. The government is actually flowing along with the insurgents, but it is treating all issues with ‘great’ caution. The government did not reject the offer to have talks with representatives of the insurgents; it is only being careful because no one is sure of the commitment of Boko Haram leadership to the truce”.
the source while responding to a question said: “The mediators have been making some demands like go and put certain things in place or a number of vehicles in some places or some logistics for the release of the girls. The government cannot just jump at the logistics without getting the right signal that the insurgents are sincere”.
However, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Sabo (rtd), Chairman of the Presidential Fact-Finding Committee on the abduction of Chibok girls had told President Goodluck Jonathan last month that the abduction was real, contrary to the misinterpretation in some quarters.
Sabo said that 276 Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok students were kidnapped but 219 girls were unaccounted for as at the time of submitting the report. He said 57 of the abducted pupils had been reunited with their families following their escape from the insurgents.
Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Chairman, Northern States Governors Forum ( NSGF) said the Military is aware of where the girls are, adding that the military was only being careful so as not to endanger the lives of the girls.
Related: Jonathan Reveals Why Abducted Girls Have Not Been Rescued
The governor made the revelation in Minna while paying host to the members of the National Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), on Tuesday.
“It is true the military know where our girls are, they have taken decision and are waiting for the right time. In trying to save the girls, the military does not want to give these terrorists the opportunity to kill the girls. We don’t have to throw the baby and the birth water away at the same time. You cannot be sympathetic to people who keep on killing, abducting, and kidnapping people, people whose source of fund is the ransom of kidnapping. We don’t have to keep supporting them. The government would do everything possible to fight Boko Haram to a standstill”.