Shehu Sani, a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has on Wednesday, averred that the schoolgirls abducted on April 14, 2014, from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents are still alive.
Sani, who was a former government negotiator with Boko Haram, affirmed with CNN that the recent video of the girls released by a source of the ferocious Islamic death cult showed the veracity of their parents’ claims.
The United States network news, CNN had recently said it obtained a video of some of the Chibok girls which had been sent to negotiators by their captors as a “proof of life”.
Speaking exclusively with CNN, Sani said negotiations with Boko Haram for the release of the girls remained frozen, given the military campaign against the insurgents.
He also urged the government to do the needful in terms of the negotiation to avoid equaling the failure of the previous administration in securing the release of the girls.
Sani said: “Negotiation at this stage has been frozen, because of the military campaign emphasised by the government. And I believe there is a need to explore the option of negotiation to ensure that the girls are brought back home alive.”
“In the last three to four credible negotiations with the group (Boko Haram) on the issue of the girls, they were emphasising on the need to release their members that have been in detention for years. The issue of ransom came very late. What is important is to get these girls out.
“There are three ways to which we can get them out. One is to negotiate. And secondly is to use force, but the use of force comes with implication and consequences. Thirdly, it is to use force and continue to open the door of negotiation. I believe the third option is very much needed. We need to continue to use force to show it clearly to the insurgents that they can’t win militarily and also to open the door for negotiation, which will make it possible for the girls to be brought back home alive.”
“We should be very careful at this time. But, the fact that we can get such a very credible video from some sources; it shows that those sources are elements that need to be used to achieve the goal of getting these girls out…
“I believe Nigeria should take this opportunity. The last government fell into the hands of many scammers, but I believe with such a very credible video, there is hope that these girls are alive. And the sources that provided the video should be used to get the girls out.”
The senator lauded President Muhammadu Buhari led government for its decisive action in the war against the insurgents but advised that at this stage, negotiations should not be shelved.