The All Progressives Congress in Lagos State has urged the Federal Government to accept the negotiation terms offered by the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, in the efforts to obtain the release of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.
The Lagos APC Interim Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, told our correspondent in a telephone interview that hostage negotiation was not new, adding that it had executed executed in many parts of the world in the past.
He said, “It (negotiation) has been done in Israel and Palestine and many other countries. In war situations, prisoner exchange is very common. It is an international convention.
“The government should put those girls first because one of those girls is worth more than all of Boko Haram put together. Also, those people that are calling on the government not to negotiate are doing so because their children are not among the kidnapped girls.”
In a related development, the founder of the Oodua People’s Congress, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, told journalists at a press conference on Tuesday that the abduction of the girls showed the failure of intelligence for which the Federal Government must be blamed.
Fasehun, who is also the National Chairman of the Unity Party of Nigeria, said the government should see the rescue of the girls as a short term measure and separate from the long-term goal of terminating Boko Haram.
He said, “When nations declare war, they still look for a means of negotiation. In the past, Boko Haram was not going to negotiate, they were just killing people. But we do not know what has come over them to initiate negotiations.
“It should be a welcome move. Give us our children and we will give you your soldiers, either dead or alive. It is a good deal. There is nothing too much for Nigeria to do in exchange for those girls.”
Fasehun recalled that the current insurgency began in the heat of the 2011 elections when some aggrieved politicians threatened to make the nation ungovernable if they did not have their way.
He subsequently called on law enforcement agencies to investigate all those who made such threats with a view to getting to the root of the matter.