President Goodluck Jonathan has indicated that the federal government of Nigeria was not adverse to the help of intermediaries who have offered to persuade the Boko Haram sect to release the over two hundred schoolgirls kidnapped in Chibok, Borno State in April this year.
This he indicated while speaking in an interview with the Washington Times in Washington, United States of America (USA), where he is attending an African Leaders Summit convened by US president, Barack Obama,
A statement issued by the senior special assistant to the president on public affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, also said that while the support of the international community in the ongoing rescue efforts of the Chibok girls was appreciated, government considered the safety of the girls as paramount, hence the adoption of several methods in the operation.
The statement quoted President Jonathan as saying, “If it is to risk a few dead bodies, it is easier. You can blast the place and carry the corpses. But is that what we have to do? So it is delicate”.
It further reiterated that the federal government had information on the location of the kidnapped girls, but was being mindful of the consequences of invading the location, to avoid a repeat of an incident in February 2013 when an offshoot of Boko Haram killed seven foreign hostages in northern Nigeria before authorities could rescue them.
“They are ready to die”, Jonathan added about the insurgents. “So when you are dealing with that scenario, it is very different from the ordinary kidnapping by criminals or people who don’t want to die. So it is very, very delicate”.
This, according to the president, was why the dialogue option had not been ruled out.