How FG Can Rescue Chibok Girls, By Senator Sani

Shehu Sani
Shehu Sani

Senator Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, is optimistic that the over 200 hundred missing Chibok girls would be found.

But for that to happen Senator Sani said the Federal Government must negotiate with some persons to rescue the girls from their captors.

The Senator pointed out that the recent happenings in the country had shown that the incessant killings by Boko Haram in the last seven years was sustained by the greed of a few who profited from the situation.

He spoke in Akure on Wednesday as a guest at a symposium held as part of the 40th Anniversary of Ondo State and the seventh anniversary of the Olusegun Mimiko-led administration.

He said: “Something that has bothered some of us here in line with the insurgency is, ‘when will the Chibok girls be freed?’

“Someone said the Chibok girls will never be free, but I can tell you that they will be free and they are alive.”

It would be recalled that the Senator Sani was in the past named as a contact person through which the Nigerian government sought to negotiate with Boko Haram.

Senator Sani, a civil society leader, at the time, later accused the former Goodluck Jonathan’s government of not being committed to the proposed dialogue.

The lawmaker pointed out that besides the use of force, the government must embrace other available ways of rescuing the girls.

He continued: “There are two ways to get them: the first is to use force to free them and before you apply force, you have to know where they are.

“You also have to weigh the consequences of raiding the camp with such number of persons, because the insurgents have nothing to lose.

“The second option is to explore ways of extracting them out through negotiation and negotiation is still possible.

“There are a few people, not a panel of eminent Nigerians or a panel; there are a few people who the government needs to reach out to.”

Senator Sani maintained that the girls could not be rescued in the first instance, because the parties could not make concession.

He recalled, “They said they were going to free the girls on the condition we freed their people. And when we came to the negotiating table and the government said it cannot free the terrorists because they have done a lot of harm.”

The senator also stated that Boko Haram was a terrorist group with leadership and theocratic agenda.

“For those who have been following events in the last six to seven years, we have seen how some of us from the north, particularly myself, I tried to find an alternative means of addressing the problem of the insurgency.

“I took the risk of reaching out to the insurgents and initiating a process of dialogue, about three to four times and it was sabotaged by those who were benefitting from the bloodshed and I think the unfolding events in the country clearly shows to all Nigerians that there were people who see that seven years of bloodshed, of mass murder, of genocide as an opportunity for them to amass wealth.

“It is not possible to say that an insurgent group or people not more than two to three thousand have proved so difficult for a nation of 175 million people to crush.

“A nation like ours with a reputable armed forces and have performed creditably well in peace-keeping missions in Liberia and Sierra Leone and Congo and other countries of the world.

“It was so clear that some see it as an opportunity, like the Chinese saying, some people see crisis as a struggle,others see it as an opportunity.

“That is why it dragged on for so long, but I hope with the present administration, at least progress has been made in terms of degrading the capacity and ability of Boko Haram to take up territories.”

Sani further said that the initial strategy of the insurgents was to send terrorists to bomb targets, but they later had links with the ISIS group, taking over territories and imposing their Islamic rules. He said they have resorted to hitting soft targets.