The faction of Boko haram aligned to the Islamic State, also known as ISWAP have demanded for a N100bn ransom for the life of the remaining Dapchi School girl, Leah Sharibu according to a diplomatic source.
According to the source who has been involved in negotiating for Leah’s release, the Nigerian Federal Government was afraid of empowering the terrorists if it accedes to their demands.
The Federal Government fears the terrorists would use the money to acquire upgraded weapon systems to be unleashed on Nigerians in the future.
Despite its fears however, Punch newspapers reported that the federal government seems to be mulling the idea of paying off the insurgents to secure the release of Leah Sharibu.
The diplomatic sources involved in the negotiations however countered the move saying giving such huge sum of money to Boko haram could have a negative impact on national security ahead of the 2019 general elections.
“It is not that the government of Nigeria is not making efforts at getting Leah Sharibu out of the grips of the Boko Haram.
But we are aware that the terrorist organisation holding her is demanding N100bn. Though no amount is too much to get the soul of one innocent person out of danger, I think the government of Nigeria is considering many things.
We all know that elections are ahead and that the terrorist organisation may also be planning to embark on inflicting damage on the people; government has to be careful and also be diplomatic about it.
We are pleading that members of the Boko Haram sect be considerate in their demands as well. They should please release the girl to her parents.” The source said
Responding however, the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, reassured Nigerians that the military was making efforts to rescue all the captives of the Boko Haram terrorists, including Leah Sharibu.
This was stated on Saturday by the Director, Defence Information Brig. Gen John Agim who said;
“Be assured that the military is doing all it should to rescue all the captives in the Boko Haram’s hold. The Nigerian military is the creation of the Nigerian state and therefore, Boko Haram is a problem of the Nigerian state and the military is called upon to tackle the problem.
Therefore, the military needs the cooperation of the state and its citizens to tackle the problem. Our citizens should not stand aloof or believe that Boko Haram is a problem only for the military. No, we require everyone’s cooperation to end this insurgency.”