Senator Shehu Sani, Chairman of the Senate committee on Foreign and local debts, has divulged reasons why the Federal government swapped 5 members of the Boko Haram terrorist group for 82 Chibok girls.
Sani, who represents Kaduna central in the senate, said that the move was the ‘best option’ since the terrorists would purchase more weapons if a monetary ransom was paid. Sani, who played a key role in the negotiations, stated that the move was not a bad decision by the government.
He told Vanguard;
“What we need to understand is the fact that we are dealing with a hostile situation and the priority is the freedom of the hostage.The negotiators were faced with two options: To pay heavy ransom to secure the release of the girls or use the insurgents who are captives as a bargaining chip.”
“It was arrived at that of the two options it was better to swap the girls with the insurgents, there are consequences for both.If you give the insurgents heavy amount of money, they will use it to purchase arms, regroup, arm themselves and fight to regain their lost territories.”
“But going by the fact that the sustained military campaign has dislodged them from their base and have pushed them to the edge, the release of their members in detention will not change the military balance on the ground; so it is the better of the two options.”
“Again, we should look at it that swapping of prisoners with is not new in the world. America, some few years ago swapped some Guantanamo detainees with some American captives, they swapped them with Talibans.”
“And Israel has most times swapped captured Israeli soldiers with Palestinian prisoners of the Hamas faction. Nigeria is simply doing what others are doing.And we should understand that we cannot continue to leave these girls in captivity of Boko Haram because we have fear of exchanging them with the insurgents.”