Boko Haram demanded €5billion or N1,706,850,000,000 from the Nigerian Government for the release of 219 Chibok girls, who they have held hostage since April 2014, fresh facts have indicated.
The terrorist group, which has oft-repeated its readiness to swap the Chibok girls for its members in government custody, may have spoken tongue-in-cheek.
According to American author, Prof. John Paden, whenever the Nigerian government moved to facilitate the swap deal with Boko Haram, the terrorist group always back tracked from the original plan, demanding for outrageous sums instead.
Prof. Paden, a teacher of International Studies, revealed these facts in his biography on President Muhammadu Buhari titled “Muhammadu Buhari: The challenges of leadership in Nigeria”.
The book was presented to the public on Monday at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.
The author’s account on the botched negotiation between Boko Haram and the Federal Government provided fresh insights into the plight of the Chibok girls, who have been in captivity for over two years.
Some excerpts from the book are: “An additional issue was the status of the Chibok girls. Secret negotiations had been held regarding an exchange of Boko Haram prisoners for the girls.
“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 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.
“But the Nigerian government was not going to accede to Boko Haram’s extra-ordinary demand for a vast sum of money which would no doubt be used to fund future attacks.
“One or two girls were able to escape their captors in May, but the rest remained captive and the impasse continued
“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”.