Friday, October 14, 2016 8:36 am
The Federal Government has said the 21 Chibok girls rescued on Thursday were not exchanged with detained Boko Haram terrorist.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo gave the explanation at a news briefing at the State House shortly after some 21 abducted Chibok girls and a 21-month-old baby released to the Department of State Service (DSS) were taken over by the Federal Government.
“There was no exchange of any kind; certainly there was no swap of any kind and I think the truth of the matter of course as you know even when we started negotiation we had said that we were ready to consider whatever options there were.
“But I believe that very fortunately God truly helped us in the negotiations.
“There was absolutely no exchange of any kind and so any news or story of four or one or two of three of four commanders (of Boko Haram) is entirely untrue; no such thing took place,’’ he said.
Osinbajo, however, said that the government was open to all options for the release of the remaining girls in captivity.
According to him, government has said it from the very beginning that it is very prepared to consider every option.
He said that the very important thing was that the nation should be sensitive about the assurance that government wanted to bring back the girls alive.
“We want to be sure that we are able to do so. At the same time we have to be able to balance it against the overall safety and security of the country.
“So, in the process of negotiations we look at all options; we will weigh the options carefully and decide what to do.
“But what has happened and the process that we have begun have not involved any type of swap of Boko Haram commanders or persons held as being militants in any way,’’ he added.
Osinbajo described the nature of the release as a very good turn of events, saying “we believe that in the next few months we should be able to bring in more of these girls along the same lines using the same negotiations and the same template.”
The vice president admitted that the Swiss Government worked with the government in the process of negotiation and explained that the Red Cross Society was not involved in the negotiation.
He, however, added that in taking the girls back, the security worked with the Red Cross to provide the medical support in case there were emergencies of any kind due to the absence of the country’s medical team.
Osinbajo also told the correspondents that only one of the released girls had a baby.(NAN)