Chibok girls: No prisoner exchange with terrorists; Odumakin, others tell FG

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The President of Women Arise Initiative, Dr Joe Odumakin, on Monday advised the Federal Government not to yield to negotiations that would involve exchanging the abducted Chibok girls with terrorists.

Odumakin gave the advice in Lagos while speaking with newsmen during a rally, organised by the group to voice their anger over the abducted girls.

The protests have continued to trail the abduction of over 200 girls from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno on April 14 by the Islamic Boko Haram group.

Reacting to reports by Skynews that the Boko Haram sect had allegedly asked the Federal Government to free some of its detained members in exchange for 130 of the kidnapped girls, Odumakin said it was unacceptable if it were to be true.

“If the reports are true, we say no to any form of exchange with the girls.”

Odumakin, who led the protest to the governor’s office in Alausa, said that government should ensure that everyone of the kidnapped girls was rescued alive.

“The government must also ensure that masterminds of the act of terrorism in Nigeria were brought to book.

“Nigeria must also work to secure its borders and collaborate with the governments of Chad, Niger and Cameroon to arrest the influx of terrorists in Nigeria,” she said.

Also speaking, ace musician, Femi Anikulapo-Kuti, urged government to urgently convene an emergency meeting of all African heads of state on the way forward against terror.

He said that African heads of state must close ranks and declare war on the Boko Haram sect before its activities spilled over to other African countries.

“The terror in Nigeria today is a growing monster that will spill over to other African countries if not stopped now.

“The terror attack in Nigeria is not just an African problem but has become an international problem.

“Those who keep quiet now thinking it is just Nigeria’s problem will feel it too someday if they refuse to assist because it is a growing monster,” he said.

The musician lamented that Nigerians were yet to be availed with information on the 50 students of Yobo Polytechnic, allegedly slaughtered by the sect while asleep two months ago.

He urged government to embark on massive enlightenment of the people over the issues arising from the security situation in the country.

Also speaking, a former President of Nigeria Bar Association, Dame Priscilla Kuye, appealed to the Federal Government to ensure that the girls were returned alive.

In his speech, renowned Yoruba Actor, Mr Jide Kosoko, appealed to the sect to release the girls.

Responding to the protesters, Gov. Babatunde Fashola described the Chibok incident as a dark experience for Nigeria.

He said that the act of terror in Nigeria made it  a difficult time for the nation hence the need for a sense of brotherhood.

“We must go beyond ethnic and religious lines and see each other as brothers in arms against our common enemy,” he said.

Also at the event are Mrs Laide Bakare, wife of Pastor Tunde Bakare, musicians and actors as well as representatives of other civil rights groups. (NAN)

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