To ensure the safety of our girls, but physically and spiritually, President Goodluck Jonathan is currently under a serious pressure from some prominent Nigerians and some of his influential aides to accept the prisoner swap offer made by Boko Haram to release the over 200 schoolgirls it abducted from their school in Chibok, Borno State, since April 14, over one month ago.
A top source inside the government said:
“Some of us are on the same page with these prominent Nigerians on this matter. Government should not be seen to be too rigid on this matter if we must get result.
“The way it is going, if the pressure is sustained, I see the President giving up on the matter in coming days and processes leading to the consummation of the agreement will be done behind the scene.
“This is why some government officials have been saying that the government will explore all options. It is our belief that this should be done as secretly as possible because of those who do not see the sense in government releasing criminals in exchange for the innocent girls.”
According to Punch, the source said he was not sure whether Shekau would also enjoy the luxury of naming his members who should benefit from the exchange or not.
The leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, had in a recent video asked for the release of Boko Haram members who are detained by security agencies across the country in exchange for the abducted girls.
Although the Presidency had ruled out what it called “trade by barter” in securing the release of the schoolgirls, some top government officials, including the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, had at different times said the government would go to any length to ensure that the girls were brought back to safety.
“Some prominent Nigerians are already reaching out to the President on the need for him to change his stand on the matter and do anything that can lead to the release of the girls. They are of the view that the release is the most important thing now,” a source close to the Presidency said in Abuja.
The presidency is afraid that if the girls are allowed to be killed by Boko Haram many Nigerians wont forgive the President, Goodluck Jonathan and his party in 2015.