Ceasefire: Tukur Dismisses Omeri’s Announcement On Imminent Release Of Chibok Girls

The Principal Private Secretary to President Goodluck Jonathan, Alhaji Hassan Tukur has dismissed the declaration by the Co-ordinator of the National Information Centre, Mike Omeri that the abducted Chibok girls’ release was part of the government’s negotiating with Boko Haram on the ceasefire agreement.

Tukur, who led the federal government team that negotiated the deal, in an interview with Thisday, said there were no pre-conditions, neither was there discussion on the release of the Chibok girls or prisoner–swap in their negotiation.

“I think you should ask Mike Omeri that question, how they arrived at the date for the release,” said Tukur, when asked to comment on Omeri’s announcement that one of the items on the agenda was the release of the Chibok girls.

Tukur said that the negotiation was still on and talks pertaining to the release of the girls will come up this week.

Boko Haram had in the past asked for the release of some of its members held by security operatives, in exchange for the release of the Chibok girls, a proposal the federal government had refused. However, when asked if a prisoner swap will happen this time, Tukur replied:
“I don’t want to pre-empt anything. Please I want you to hold on till when the agreement is reached…It is going to be an open secret.”

While the Boko Haram had in recent times boasted about territories it had taken from Nigeria, and even declaring an Islamic State at some point, Tukur promised that none of Nigeria’s was negotiable and as such would be returned to the way it was.

“I can tell you that at the end of our discussion with suna Jihad every territory that belongs to Nigeria will be back to Nigeria. The issue of those areas would be addressed squarely…if you remember the president has said there is no inhibition in discussing all issues, including the ones they will put on the table.

“There is no problem that Nigeria or Federal Government will not find a solution to. Also there is no country that its territory is occupied that will not want it returned. That is the import of this discussion.

“Every territory of Nigeria would return back to normalcy, local governments will function properly, people will go back to their businesses and to their houses and make sure that there is peace and stability,” Tukur said.