There are indications that the Federal Government actually paid ransom to secure the release of 97 out of the 105 girls kidnapped from their school in Dapchi in February contrary to the position of government that it did not pay any ransom.
The girls were release on Wednesday morning by Boko Haram.
Recall Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed as well as Minister of Defense, Mansur Dan-Ali had denied that any ransom was paid, but National Daily reliably gathered that money was paid to secure the release of the girls.
It was gathered that the federal government not only made ransom payment to the insurgents, it also exchanged some Boko Haram prisoners in return for the Dapchi girls.
Sources said Lawal Daura, the Director General of the Department of State Services, DSS, who has been in charge of the ‘opaque negotiations’ with terrorists has, along with some government officials, build a big business out of kidnap for ransom negotiations.
Analysts have also argued that the eagerness of the Buhari administration to pay ransom for abductees is fueling the thirst of various factions of Boko Haram for mass kidnappings.
Recall that the Buhari administration was said to have paid huge ‘ransom’ to Boko Haram for freedom of three university lecturers and the 10 women recently released by the insurgents while between two to three million euros were also paid by the Federal Government to Boko Haram in exchange for the release of 82 Chibok girls in 2017.
The BBC had reported that millions of euro in cash were handed over to the insurgents in exchange for the release of the girls in addition to the release of five senior Boko Haram militants were bomb-makers.
“The ransom was €2m. Boko Haram asked for euros. They chose the suspects and gave us the list of girls who would be freed,” BBC quoted a source as confirming the deal with Boko Haram.
Meanwhile, the Peoples’ Democratic Party said the abduction of Dapchi schoolgirls was staged by the All Progressives Congress.
According to the party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the abduction was designed “to hoodwink Nigerians and orchestrate a great rescue and security prowess of a conquering general”.
The PDP spokesman said it is “an unpardonable gamble with human lives” to win the 2019 elections.