By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi
Three days after the release of 21 girls abducted from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State by Boko Haram, the Federal Government and the insurgents are already negotiating the release of 83 more.
On April 14, 2014, 219 girls were abducted from their dormitory by Boko Haram.
Presidential spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu, disclosed the negotiation, said yesterday, in an interview with Reuters Foundation.
Shehu said a faction of Boko Haram leaders had, last week, assured the President Muhammadu Buhari administration they had the girls in their custody.
“These 21 released girls are supposed to be tale bearers to tell the Nigerian government that this faction of Boko Haram has 83 more Chibok girls. The faction said it is ready to negotiate if the government is willing to sit down with them.”
President Buhari has repeatedly said he would be willing to negotiate with the group if its genuine leaders are identified.
The Boko Haram faction said the remaining kidnapped Chibok girls were with another faction of the sect controlled Abubakar Shekau, Reuters Foundation quoted Shehu as saying.
Recently, Boko Haram split into at least two faction with one believed to be controlled by Shekau, and another by Musab al-Barnawi, said to be the son of the group’s founder, Mohammed Yusuf, killed in 2009 by security agents.
Last Thursday, Information Minister, Lai Mohammed denied reports that government swapped captured Boko Haram fighters for the girls’ release.
In Germanym Buhari said he was not informed of what the government traded for the girls.
He said he would receive full briefing after arriving in Nigeria this week.