Chibok Girls: How Jonathan Started Swap Deal With Boko Haram – Sheriff’s PDP
The Ali-Modu Sheriff faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has revealed how the idea of swapping Boko Haram commanders in exchange for the Chibok girls was initiated by former President, Goodluck Jonathan in May 2014.
Deputy National Chairman of the party, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, said this during a press briefing in Abuja, on Monday.
He recalled that the government team comprised the then Director-General of the Department of State Services, Ita Ekpeyong; the then Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh; the former Chief Security Officer to Jonathan, the late Gordon Obua, and himself.
Ojougboh said this while reacting to a statement by the Ahmed Makarfi faction which claimed it was wrong to have swapped terrorists for the release of the girls.
He urged the government to put in more efforts to negotiate the release of the remaining girls held by the insurgents.
Ojougboh said Ijaw National leader, Chief Edwin Clark, nominated him into a government team to negotiate the release of the Chibok girls in May 2014.
He added, “Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud today to tell you that I was the one who was nominated to negotiate the release of the Chibok girls.“And we held a series of meetings, the International Red Cross, the Embassy of Switzerland; we took these representatives of the Boko Haram to the international Red Cross, and to the Ambassador of Switzerland, they gave us time, they studied what information we had and they approved it.
“We took the information to Mr. President and Mr. President said that whatever it would take to release the Chibok girls, any swap that these people demand, he approved it. Jonathan approved it.
“So to say that the swap of Boko Haram girls with prisoners is not necessary, I will tell you that it was PDP government that initiated it.”
He said a Borno State indigene sabotaged efforts to release the girls.
Ojougboh, however, advised Nigerians to ignore the Makarfi faction, which he said should not have issued any statement on behalf of the PDP.