Sunday, May 7, 2017 11:00 pm
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led by Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, has expressed concern over the swap of Boko Haram prisoners for the release of 82 abducted Chibok girls. The party said it was a price too heavy to pay by Nigeria.
The party said it was a price too heavy to pay by Nigeria.
The party expressed the concern on Sunday in a statement issued by Mr Dayo Adeyeye, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP National Caretaker Committee.
It, however, applauded as a welcome development the release of the Chibok girls captured by the Boko Haram in 2014, noting the extreme pain the families of the girls had suffered in the last three years.
“What is however of great concern is the price paid to secure the release of the girls.
“According to reports, the girls were released in exchange for the release of suspected Boko Haram terrorists.
“If that is the case, we say it’s a heavy price to pay and an unusual one at that,” the party stated.
The PDP stated that while it welcomed the release of the girls, it did not think that exchanging innocent girls for hardened criminals like the terrorists was the right approach.
PDP said with the prisoner swap, the suspected terrorists had escaped justice.
It added that by releasing the arrest terrorists all the effort made by security agencies to bring them to book had come to nothing.
The party said the move was a setback for the war on insurgency.
“Their release is tantamount to releasing them (terrorists ) to resume their war against society.
“Many of them could find their ways back to the terrorists camps from where they could unleash terror against the
“Others who are allowed to roam freely in society could become veritable recruiting agents and purveyors of suicide bombing and urban terrorism.”
The party believed that with the swap of terrorists for Chibok girls, the terrorists would become emboldened to continue with the kidnapping of innocent people.
The PDP added that the piece meal release of the girls meant the terrorists want to extract more concessions from the government which in the end could only prolong the insurgency.
“The release of the girls will increase the agony and high expectancy of the remaining girls still in custody of the terrorists and their families who will be wondering why they have not been so lucky.
“It, therefore, would have been better to ensure the release of all the girls at once.”
The negotiations according to the party were in clear violation and indeed a direct assault on the generally accepted international principle “never to negotiate with terrorists.”
It stated that the international principle was sound and logical because negotiation with the terrorists only fuels their urge to continue with their heinous crimes.
“However, we recognise the concern of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the earliest release of the Chibok girls for domestic and international considerations.
“Equally, we are very concerned about the safe return of the girls to their families at the earliest possible time.
“But we disagree that negotiating with the terrorists is the right approach to achieving the objective.
“Meanwhile, we rejoice with the girls and their families and hope that their remaining colleagues will join them in freedom in no distant future.”