The Senator representing Kaduna Central senatorial district, Shehu Sani, has assured Nigerians that the missing Chibok girls will be found, on the grounds that the Federal Government negotiates some persons to “extract” the girls from their current danger.
Speaking at a symposium held in Akure on Wednesday, February 24 as part of the 40th Anniversary of Ondo State and the seventh anniversary of the Olusegun Mimiko-led administration, Senator Shehu stated that the happenings in the country right now reveal that the reign of bloodshed by Boko Haram in the last seven years was strengthened by a few greedy people who profited from the situation.
“Something that has bothered some of us here in line with the insurgency is, when will the Chibok girls be freed.”
“Someone said the Chibok girls will never be free, but I can tell you that they will be free and they are alive,” he insisted.
Addressing further on the issue, Sani said: “There are two ways to get them: the first is to use force to free them and before you apply force, you have to know where they are. You also have to weigh the consequences of raiding the camp with such number of persons, because the insurgents have nothing to lose.”
“The second option is to explore ways of extracting them out through negotiation and negotiation is still possible.
“There are a few people, not a panel of eminent Nigerians or a panel, there are a few people who the government needs to reach out to.”
He went ahead to reveal that the girls could not be rescued during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan because one of the parties was not ready for concession during negotiations.
“They said they were going to free the girls on the condition we freed their people. And when we came to the negotiating table, and the government said it cannot free the terrorists because they have done a lot of harm,” he recalled.
The senator also said that Boko Haram is a terrorist group with a leadership and a theocratic agenda.
“For those who have been following events in the last six to seven years, we have seen how some of us from the north, particularly myself, I tried to find an alternative means of addressing the problem of the insurgency,” he said.
“I took the risk of reaching out to the insurgents and initiating a process of dialogue, about three to four times and it was sabotaged by those who were benefitting from the bloodshed and I think the unfolding events in the country clearly shows to all Nigerians that there were people who see that seven years of bloodshed, of mass murder, of genocide as an opportunity for them to amass wealth.
“It is not possible to say that an insurgent group or people not more than two to three thousand have proved so difficult for a nation of 175 million people to crush.
“A nation like ours with a reputable armed forces and have performed creditably well in peace keeping missions in Liberia and sierra Leone and Congo and other countries of the world.
“It was so clear that some see it as an opportunity, like the Chinese saying, some people see crisis as a struggle, others see it as an opportunity.
“That is why it dragged on for so long, but I hope with the present administration, at least progress has been made in terms of degrading the capacity and ability of Boko Haram to take up territories.”