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British newspaper says Jonathan aborted rescue deal for Chibok girls ‘at the last minute’

British newspaper says Jonathan aborted rescue deal for Chibok girls ‘at the last minute’
May 26
07:03 2014
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The kidnapped schoolgirls would have regained their freedom by now but President Goodluck Jonathan called off a prisoner swap deal with Boko Haram at the last minute, British tabloid The Mail on Sunday has reported.

Dubai-exiled Nigerian journalist, Ahmad Salkida — who reportedly fled to the United Arab Emirates last year following threats to his life on account of his closeness to the militants — was said to have been appointed by both the government and the extremists to broker an agreement for the release of the girls in exchange for Boko Haram members in detention.

“Sources in the Nigerian capital Abuja described how Shekau had agreed to bring the girls out of their forest camps in the remote north-east of the country in the early morning and take them to a safe location for the prisoner swap,” the paper wrote.

“They would have been dropped off in a village, one group at a time, and left there while their kidnappers disappeared. There was to be a signal to a mediator at another location to bring in the prisoners.”

Curiously, the federal government was only expected to release 100 “non-combatant, low-level sympathisers” of Boko Haram, rather than commanders and foot soldiers, the newspaper reported.

About 2000 Boko Haram members are said to be in detention.

Accused of being a Boko Haram sympathiser, the Borno-born journalist has always insisted he only maintains a “professional relationship” with certain members of the group whom he knew long before it became violent.

However, he was reportedly persuaded by the president’s aides to embark on a “secretive and dangerous” trip home to meet Shekau, after the president “personally signed a letter of indemnity” protecting him from arrest by security agents.

But while attending the May 17, 2014 Paris terrorism summit with leaders of four African countries and representatives of the European Union, United Kingdom, and the United States of America, Jonathan called home to halt the deal, the paper said.

The about-face, it is believed, has angered Shekau, raising fears that the girl might now be endangered.

“The next video we see from the terrorists could show the girls being killed one by one,” The Mail on Sunday quoted an intelligence source as saying.

The turnaround may as well spell the end of any peace deal with Boko Haram, as Salkida is about the group’s most-trusted and unbiased go-between with the federal government.

“He is probably the only civilian with access to Shekau. There is trust between them and Salkida had only one aim — to get the schoolgirls out,” the source further said.

“He reported afterwards that the group of girls he saw were alive and well, and being adequately fed and sheltered. They told him all they wanted was to go home.”

Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati was quoted by the newspaper as saying he was not aware of any attempted rescue plan.

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27 Comments

  1. JoeBoy
    JoeBoy May 26, 08:27

    Quoting a foreign newspaper as usual. Why can’t you go to the UAE and interview the Salkida man before quoting a british Newspaper. When will you people learn?

    Reply to this comment
    • Daniel
      Daniel May 26, 11:54

      Will you go to UAE and interview Salkida yourself? what is wrong in quoting british media when them no lie….smh, people like are are the reason we have a president like jonathan

      Reply to this comment
      • Opobo
        Opobo May 26, 13:55

        Foreign sophisticated bombs killing Nigerians, boko haram claims responsibility not thru NTA, or Channels, or Silverbird, but thru a foreign station, boko always releasing video, thru foreign media, boko casually chats with cbs, etc. Now this, Joeboy, they will neva learn, that’s why people like Daniel and BABS will continue living in ignorance.

        Reply to this comment
    • BABS
      BABS May 26, 12:44

      Hello Joeboy, it is you that needs to learn. One media house quoting another is normal.You seem not to have heard of Washington Post quoting NAN or CNN quoting Reuters? Anyway, theCable you are attempting to denigrate and insult is a veteran. You, JoeBOY are just a “boy” in this field.

      Reply to this comment
    • FALSE FLAG OPERATION
      FALSE FLAG OPERATION May 26, 18:50

      hummm! SALKIDA, GEJ, FOREIGN MEDIA and their FALSE FLAG OPERATION (Boko Haram).

      @JoeBoy: Let see what will come out of this MESS our POLITICIANS put us.

      Reply to this comment
  2. TRIPPLESB
    TRIPPLESB May 26, 09:04

    boko haram are dangerous,they are still killing,bombing,kidnappin.dere should b no agreement

    Reply to this comment
  3. Na so?
    Na so? May 26, 09:09

    This is no news. Prisoners swap is delicate issue. Assuming one party doesn’t honor it, how can you identify and trace them?

    Reply to this comment
  4. Ib sigi
    Ib sigi May 26, 10:06

    Pls mr president don’t ignor them their our leaders of tomoro they need ur help.

    Reply to this comment
  5. yeah
    yeah May 26, 11:57

    Its interesting to note that this kind of attitude is what made the group violent in the first place. Anything possible should be done to free the girls but if the president have a plan of effective action, then we are hopeful of something good.

    Reply to this comment
    • yeah yeah
      yeah yeah May 27, 07:20

      Releasing those prisoners will only mean more killings and destruction by boko haram, it will be a very wrong move as it will make the group bolder and more destructive, we want the girls alive but not at the expense of more killings and destruction, the foreign partners advised him properly

      Reply to this comment
  6. Bette
    Bette May 26, 12:27

    After the swap if successful, what next? Will Boko stop bombing Nigerians? Will the Nigerian security stop arresting them if they see them in crimes and will they never kidnap again to exchange for their criminals?

    Reply to this comment
  7. mike ojay
    mike ojay May 26, 12:41

    are they powerful than dis nation?

    Reply to this comment
  8. Omonaija
    Omonaija May 26, 13:37

    Negotiating with terrorists is very sensitive and dangerous, although, I support the president taking any measure to save the girls, but in exchange for criminals? Criminals who will likely turn out to kidnap more girls, kill more civilians? I don’t think so. The problem with the Boko’s escalated as a result of poor foundation for security, greedy politicians using then as election tools, It’s deeper than we see it. The govt’s ‘inactiveness’ and silent treatment is sth Nigerians will never forgive them for.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Shehu Shehu Ali
    Shehu Shehu Ali May 26, 13:49

    thank Allah there is judgement. day

    Reply to this comment
  10. bkool
    bkool May 26, 20:18

    we should learn to put ourselves in the shoes of those girls parents…parents that went into the forest in pursuit of BH exactly the next day.
    These are innocent girls and everyday they spend with those terrorist is a day in hell. I support any measure to bring them back! It’s not their fault they were abducted. Our leaders are culpable

    Reply to this comment
  11. Jay Jay
    Jay Jay May 26, 22:55

    Dr Goodluck Jonathan took a wise decision to ignor the prison swap.Our Northern brothers should stop politcising Boko Haram.They should cooperate with security men to rescue the girls

    Reply to this comment
  12. Sabamba
    Sabamba May 26, 23:28

    Well guys, news just came through that the rescue is still going on and the the Nigeria military now have news on where the girls are. It’s a matter strategic deployment of military operational and rescue tactics such as not to cause further killings. If you want first hand news the Nigerian military is still the best source on this matter and not a foreign media. Cheers guys.

    Reply to this comment
    • Curious
      Curious May 27, 03:18

      Seriously? The same military that once claimed that almost all the girls had been rescued?with all the local media following on cue,I still recollect the BBC refuting that account until the military shamefully recanted the story a day later.For now,it is safer to take what Defense Hqtrs say with a pinch of salt.

      Reply to this comment
  13. MOONKID
    MOONKID May 27, 08:12

    I have had enough of this boko haram of a thing i regrat beening a NIGERIAN

    Reply to this comment
  14. Salsufy
    Salsufy May 27, 10:30

    May bless you omonaija

    Reply to this comment
  15. big G
    big G May 27, 12:06

    9ja jagajaga,where d good is d bad and d bad is d good.

    Reply to this comment
  16. jay
    jay May 27, 12:34

    the US will never negotiate with terrorist so why should nigeria do

    Reply to this comment
  17. Big Jay
    Big Jay May 27, 15:10

    @Jay, because Nigeria is not US, and it does not have other alternatives as the US

    Reply to this comment
  18. Franqee
    Franqee May 29, 12:18

    Please lets be reasonable! True, no other President in Nigeria’s history could have done better than Jonathan in the face of present realities. Not even Abacha or Obasanjo! Then I ask: How do you negotiate with rattle-snakes and scorpions? They are no more humans but demonic beasts! We just pray to God to save and return Our Schoolgirls alive. Finally, calling these lunatics “islamists” is a great insult to Islam! They are a satanic cult! Period.

    Reply to this comment
    • chimex
      chimex May 30, 12:01

      If you have your daughter in that forest, you will not give this your best president this advise, my people make a parable that if they are carrying another person`s corpse across the market, it would look like bunch of fire wood until they carry that of someone you know. All of you deceits have at one time paid ransom to free kidnappers to free your loved ones in South South/ South East

      Reply to this comment

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