According to minister of information, Lai
Mohammed while speaking in a chat with
media men in Abuja on Friday, September
16, the FG has spoken with the captors at
least thrice since August 2015.
The minister of information, culture and
tourism, Lai Mohammed
Leadership reports that Mohammed noted
that talks stalled after cracks appeared
within the ranks of the terrorist group
which now has two leaders.
He said: “Precisely on 17th July, 2015, the
DSS opened negotiations process with the
group holding the Chibok girls. However, in
return for the release of some of these
girls, the group also made some demands.
These included the release of some of their
fighters arrested including some involved
in major terrorist actions, resulting in
several fatalities, and others who were
experts in manufacture of locally
“This was difficult to accept, but appropriate
security agencies had to again inform Mr.
President of these demands, and its viewed
implications. Again Mr. President gave his
assent believing that the overall release of
these girls remains paramount and
sacrosanct. Meanwhile, following the above
development, Government and the
security agencies had sufficient leverage to
work out the modalities of the swap.
The Chibok girls in a recent Boko Haram
“These included creating the safe haven, or
necessary place of swap and working out
the logistic details. Based on this, the DSS
availed other critical sister agencies of this
new situation. Immediately, the Nigerian
Army and the Air Force sent some
specialists to commence a detailed
arrangement for the swap. This was during
the last week of July 2015 and 1st week of
“The officers representing the various
agencies worked out the logistic details,
such as the number of persons to be
swapped i.e. number of girls and detainees
to be exchanged, the vehicles and aircraft,
as well as safeguards, i.e. safety of the
persons, including the location of the swap.
“When it was finally agreed by all parties,
Mr. President was again informed that the
preparations were concluded, and the first
step for the swap would commence on 1st
August, 2015. Mr. President robustly gave
“On 4th August, 2015, the persons who
were to be part of the swap arrangements
and all others involved in the operation
were transported to Maiduguri, Borno
State. This team, with the lead facilitator,
continued the contact with the group
holding the Chibok girls.
“The Service was able to further prove to
the group its sincerity, as it established
communication contact between it and its
detained members. All things were in place
for the swap which was mutually agreed.
Expectations were high.
“Unfortunately, after more than two (2)
weeks of negotiation and bargains, the
group, just at the dying moments, issued
new set of demands, never bargained for
or discussed by the group before the
movement to Maiduguri. All this while, the
security agencies waited patiently. This
development stalled what would have been
the first release process of the Chibok girls.
“It may be important to note that in spite
of this setback, the government and the
security agencies have not relented in the
bid to ensure that the Chibok girls are