How FG bungled Chibok girls’ rescue Fate of remaining 15 in their ‘husbands’ hands
On the fourth anniversary of the abduction of 278 girls from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, journalist turned Boko Haram negotiator, Ahmad Salkida, has sensationally revealed how the federal government under President Goodluck Jonathan came close to rescuing the girls on several occasions but bungled the process.
Salkida, who is now based in the United Arab Emirates after he was declared wanted by the previous administration, in series of tweets on Saturday being the anniversary of the abduction, said contrary to claims in certain quarters that Jonathan did not act quickly, the former president actually was on top of the situation but was misled by his commanders.
“However, what many people did not know was that two weeks into the abduction, the Jonathan administration was already in touch with me for the peaceful release of the girls. By the way, I was in self-exile after pressure from the same government,” Salkida tweeting @ContactSalkida wrote.
According to him, the abduction of the girls was not planned, rather “an afterthought, they saw a chance to abduct school girls in GSS Chibok, the girls at the time were preparing for their exams.”
Salkida disclosed that after he was contacted by the previous government, he left the UAE, noting that “the demands of BH then were simple, they wanted detained members taken to Damaturu and they will move the girls to Buniyardi for swap somewhere in between. There was no word on ransom
“I was provided with full military escorts from Abuja to Damaturu. Government was supposed to make sure that 70 detainees were ready on my arrival in Damaturu to meet 30 there. The rest of the negotiating team was in Abuja making sure the prisoners were on a plane before my arrival...
“On arrival in Damaturu, the military commander there was not briefed about my work. He was merely told to expect a VIP? At that time, the girls have been moved by BH, but there was no prisoners for exchange and I got a call from the former CDS to abort the operation.”
He maintained that “4 out of 5 process that I was involved in, we came close to a swap deal, but government in most instances did not provide the platform I presented with the required expertise. And whenever government dragged its feet, Shekau will shift the goal post.”
On the fate of the 113 girls still with Boko Haram, Salkida disclosed that only 15 of the girls are alive and married off to fighters of the insurgents.
“I regret to state here that only 15 out of the 113 #Chibokgirls are alive today, based on my investigations in the last 3 months and we have already seen some of them in a video, which I exclusively obtained and was published on SR website.
“What is the status of the remaining 15 girls as far as negotiations are concerned? My investigations also revealed that, they are no longer under the control of #AbubakarShekau. According to sources, they are now 'married' and only their 'husbands' can decide their fates.”
On which of the 15 girls are alive? “It will be unbearable to share the names of the 15 that are alive here, this is the responsibility of government. When I was involved I regularly provided proof of life. Government must demand that to prove me wrong or stop negotiating for many of the girls that don't exists...”