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Monday, 8 May 2017

#FranklySpeaking. The Chibok Release: Restoring The Nigerian Brand On The International Scene.

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.


  1. "..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"


    When you compare the images of people living free in IDP camps by dying of hunger and the images of the Chibok girls living in captivity for almost 3yrs, you wld question who really has more value for life. Boko Haram or the Nig govt.

    One day,the truth about the sponsors of Boko haram and the people catering to the girls welfare which includes (their feeding, monthly sanitary, medicals,etc) wld be revealed but till then,we watch and ask questions no one wld answer..

    1. Exactly! the conclusion that Nigeria places value on the lives of her citizens is so far-fetched from this instance of the 'suspicious' rescue of Chibok girls.

      Also, the dynamic of the wars between Israel and many middle eastern countries is very much different from that between Nigeria and Boko Haram. Using as precedence the negotiated exchanges in those wars to validate this instance in Nigeria's Boko Haram war can lead to erroneous conclusions. Furthermore, if my news source is anything to go by, the girls weren't just exchanged for Boko Haram commanders, foreign currencies' exchange was also included - one any right thinking government knows would be used to foment another war.

      Most importantly, in an ongoing war, negotiation is often a last resort. The point of negotiation signifies that one has exhausted all possible alternatives and done due diligence to be the victor in the ensuing war - clearly the Nigerian government has been lacking in this regard. Chrisyinks

    2. @Chrisyinks, you have once again put succinctly in words all I have in my mind. Jornalism is dead in Nigeria. The release of these girls should raise a lot of questions,alot.J

    3. Of course we know that Nigeria has no value for lives . But this is the message the government is trying to sell . It's just like Jonathan telling CNN that Nigeria is not corrupt . Government will not be its own opposition. Whatever brand that Nigeria is painted in the international community splashes on all of us . FS .

  2. FS I usually agree with your posts but not this time. I'm not saying that govt shouldn't negotiate with terrorists. But are you going to really pretend that you cannot see the eyebrow-raising questions on the wall? I'm disappointed in you.

    1. "I'm disappointed in you?" Isn't that a strong statement to make Re this post.

  3. I'd have to agree with Sasha on this one. The release of the girls does not mean the Nigerian government values the lives of its people. If this were so, we'd hold our leaders, both elected and appointed, more accountable for the deaths accrued to their different offices e.g. Ministers of health, works, education, transport, etc., governors, LG chairmen, the judiciary, etc. The Nigerian government doesn't care.

    I personally still think Buhari set up this Boko Haram saga back in 2009

    Good article tho, you watch a lot of CNN, Aljazeera and co.


  4. Sasha, I'm sure you know I clearly said this in my article about the IDP Obliterators. Yes, it's pathetic that Boko Haram captives are usually better off than the IDP inmates who are dying of hunger and unhygienic environments. The plan to swap these girls for some Boko Haram commanders have been going on since 2014 and it was actually facilitated by the Swiss government, the international Red Cross society and the Chadian government. They came very close at one point that even the Jonathan government falsely announced the return of the Chibok girls . I understand and can't ignore the various conspiracy theories , but whatever it might be , when you hold people against their wish, it's still called kidnapping in English language . But the truth remains that (1) Negotiating with terrorist groups and prisoner exchange is not new (2) The Chibok kidnap saga has been a symbol of government failure in Nigeria as seen my the international community (3) The uncertainty about the Presidents health status is capable of doing more damage to our economy since like I said the international finance market can be emotional and perceptive (4) The Chibok release is a strong PR for this government to tell the world that governance is still strong and effective despite the Presidents health status (5) The kidnap of ones daughter for three years is actually much more traumatizing than death , so it's actually almost impossible for me not to celebrate with the families (6) I agree there is a set up somewhere by some forces in connivance with Boko Haram, but this is always the cases with most kidnap as insider information is provided and note that Chibok is a Christian community and 90% of these girls are Christians so the idea of the girls and their parents being involved in whatever conspiracy is balderdash.

    Frankly Speaking .

    1. We do know that some divorcing parents kidnap their own kids when there a pending custody battle?
      We also do know that families of a man or woman can kidnap a child for whatever reasons ranging from traditional rights to general welfare of the child? So frankly speaking, kidnap cld also be an inside job so let's not paint kidnap as a hideous crime only perpetuated by criminals.

      Bringing it to Chibok saga,was there a kidnap? Obviously Yes!
      Was there a (political) motive behind it? It's beginning to look like it judging from a number of things..

      In summary,the kidnappers had the decency to cater to the girls better than the FG has been catering to the IDP's. Kudos to them (can't believe I just did that)

      I just hope they wldnt starve the remaining girls so that they get to fit the expected image of people in 3yrs captivity with terrorists.

      Curious: Henry Okah,the man behind the bomb blast was fished out,arrested and sentenced. Tompolo and co who control militant men have been seen with the naked eye in public space. Nnamdi Kanu, from far away Uk was arrested for championing Biafra. Only Shekararu or whatever he's called, the supposed leader of a terrorist group that's responsible for a number of deaths and insecurity has neither been seen nor his history,bio and profiling revealed to us by our intelligence agencies. Is he a fucking ghost or what?

      Too many questions without answers..

  5. From the very beginning I knew there was a conspiracy theory somewhere in this whole chibok girls saga, somethings dnt just add up

  6. Yes Sasha, but when parents kidnap their kids it's stil a kidnap . My focus is on bringing the poor girls back . Whosoever kidnapped them is not the issue here . Even Thelma was disappointed that I had this thought pattern but I just think it's a great thing for this country that the girls are back . It's good for our image as a country and good for the families of the poor girls who apparently became pawns in the hands of bigger players . Thanks for agreeing that there was a kidnap but like I said I strongly doubt that these girls or their parents were part of it . Stay blessed my sister . FS

    1. "..Whosoever kidnapped them is not the issue here."

      Na,whoever kidnapped them are a very big part of the issue here. This made world news. It's also part of the PR we talking about. People who stage their own kidnap just cos they wanna extort their parents tell a lot about the type of family they are from. It's definitely a good thing that the girls are finally gaining freedom but we can't and shldnt ignore the obvious elephant in the room. PR swings both ways...

  7. And the almighty question is, how come the release was done right before Buhari traveled on his indefinite medical leave. 1. They concluded negotiation a while back but waited for the "right time" to release the girls 2. They were actually in custody of these girls from day one and released them just in time to serve their political purpose. Either way, you can see that alot of things did not add up. Even a fool can see through this. There was kidnapping but who orchestrated it? I believe Buhari and co were behind this from day one. The rest of the girls will be released just before or during the campaign. For people hiding in a forest and moving around more than 100 girls, you can agree with me that captivity has never looked any better on anyone. If journalists can interview 20 of those girls we will have our answers but that will never happen.


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