Yesterday morning Shehu Garba confirmed my suspicion by accepting that some Boko Haram commanders were released in exchange for the Chibok girls. Some people might play politics with this, but on the other hand, it is a statement to the international community that our country attaches great value to the lives of her citizens.
In 1955, Israel released 5,577 Egyptian prisoners of war in exchange for the release of an Israeli pilot and three soldiers.
After the 1967 Six day war between Israel and Arab, the Israeli army took 4,338 Egyptian soldiers and 899 civilians, 553 Jordanian soldiers and 366 civilians, and 367 Syrian soldiers and 205 civilians captive. They were exchanged for two Israeli soldiers and the dead body of another.
April 4th 1975, Israel released 92 terrorist held in their custody, in exchange for the dead bodies of 39 Israeli soldiers .
November 23 1983, six Israeli Defense Force soldiers were exchanged for 4,700 Palestine terrorists .
May 25 1998, the dead body of Itamar Ilyah, an Israeli soldier was exchanged for 65 living Hezbollah terrorists .
Over 400 Palestinian and 30 Lebanese prisoners, including Hezbollah leaders ash-Sheikh Abdal-Karim Obeid were exchanged in 2004 for the bodies of three dead IDF soldiers captured in 2000.
On October 18, 2011, captured IDF soldier, Gilad Shalit was released by Hamas in exchange for 1027 Hamas terrorists .
Just recently in 2014, Sergeant Bowei Bergdahl of the US army in Afghanistan, was released by the Taliban.
He was kidnapped and held hostage by the Taliban since the 30th of June 2009.
In exchange for his release the US government released five notorious Taliban commanders, held at Guantamo bay.
Those who know nothing about contemporary peace studies are often the first to shout 'We can't negotiate with terrorists'. Desperate times suggests desperate measures.
Few days ago news reported that the Nigerian stock market exchange lost 6.87 billion within the first few minutes of President Buhari's first appearance in 14 days .
Why was this so? Simply because the international financial market responds to perception and emotions. In crude language; the market will rather want a President dead or alive, rather than alive and uncertain .
The Chibok issue had become a symbol of failure of governance in Nigeria and this greatly contributed to the bad image painted on the previous government.
By pulling this Chibok release through at this time of uncertainty, the Nigerian government has made a statement to the international community that governance is still strong and ongoing irrespective of the Presidents health status .
I celebrate with the families of these little girls who have been through the valley of the shadow of death.
Kudos to all those who pulled this one through.