By Luka Binniyat
KADUNA—Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central) who once brokered a meeting between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Boko Haram leadership in 2011, has said Nigeria may have to pay a “very high price” to secure the release of abducted Chibok girls, by releasing some captured Boko Haram members.
Sani, made the suggestion while fielding questions from newsmen in Kaduna after donating assorted materials, equipment and machines to Hospitals, Schools, Women and Youths Centres valued at N42 million to the seven Local Government Areas in his constituency.
He said: “It is very unfortunate that we could not get this out on time. They have spent two years in captivity now. The good thing now is that the government of Muhammadu Buhari has degraded the capacity of the insurgents to hold unto any territory or to carry out their usual big scales attacks. But we may have to pay a very high price to get these girls out now. It is possible to free them.
”The best way to get them out is that we need to set up a special committee which has its mandates and responsibilities. It shall be tasked with the mandate to do everything possible including persuading and negotiating with Boko Haram with terms on how to get these girls out.
“There is the need to set up another committee to ensure that both sides abide by the rules set up for the negotiation. This committee should include international bodies like the United Nations. I think we may need to pay the highest price to get these girls out even if it means freeing some of their members in detention. I don’t like this academic argument of saying, ‘if this happens, then that thing will happen.’
“I believe that why these girls have to continue to stay in the hands of these captives is simply because of class difference.”
This is the truth of the hostage situation in Nigeria. When the children of the high and mighty are abducted, or their wives and brothers are kidnapped it takes no time to secure their freedom.”