Security consultant, Sunday Adoba, has expressed belief that the Nigerian government made an exchange deal with members of the Boko Haram group for the release of the 21 Chibok girls.
The Federal government has insisted that there was no exchange agreement reached prior to the girls’ release but the statement has been greeted with varying opinions from Nigerians.
Mr Adoba holds the belief that the government “works in a mysterious way” and explained why he had this belief.
He said that it was a surprise to him that “there were other rescue operations ongoing somewhere else while the Chibok girls were released at another angle, within that same period”.
“I don’t think the entire actors within the operational area were carried along,” he said, and this, to him, shows that there was a special arrangement involved.
He insisted that the known face of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau had gone broke and would not miss the chance of using the Chibok girls’ release to raise funds.
‘Money Has Changed Hands’
Mr Adoba opined that since there has been no record of prisoners released, then the exchange would have involved cash.
He further questioned: “Can any right thinking man sit down and say the Chibok girls were released by Shekau of all people, without a price?”
“There was a conflict between Shekau and Mahmoud Mamman, which was as a result of money.
“Shekau had given him money to go and procure equipment and they took off. So definitely he is in need of hard currency.
“Money has definitely changed hands because nobody was returned to the Boko Haram group,” he insisted.
‘Hope For Others’
He, however, stated that the most important thing was the successful release of the girls, which he believes the government has made significant progress with.
“For me the girls are out, no matter what procedure was carried out to get them, all I am interested in is that we have saved lives.
“For the girls to come out of the bondage, it means at least there is hope for others. And I believe with the efforts of the government, more of them will be rescued,” he stated.
On April 14, 2014, over 270 school girls were abducted from their hostel, in Chibok town, Maiduguri borno state.
While some of them have managed to escape, and the additional 21 were recently released on October 14, 2016, a larger number still remain in the terrorists’ captivity.
The insurgence brought Boko Haram into international spotlight, with many using the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag to raise awareness for the campaign to find the abductees.
Convener of the movement, Oby Ezekwesili, however praised the military for its efforts so far, while also promising to join efforts with government to help in the quick recuperation and rehabilitation of the girls.