Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says Chibok girls have not yet been rescued because Boko Haram keeps changing its demands just when the girls are about to be swapped for detained insurgents.
Mohammed said this on Friday while briefing journalists on the efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to rescue girls, who have been held captive since April 2014.
“Precisely on 17th July, 2015, the DSS opened negotiations process with the group holding the Chibok girls. However, in return for the release of some of these girls, the group also made some demands,” Mohammed said.
“These included the release of some of their fighters arrested, including some involved in major terrorist actions resulting in several fatalities, and others who were experts in the manufacture of locally-assembled explosives.
“This was difficult to accept, but appropriate security agencies had to again inform Mr. President of these demands, and its viewed implications. Again Mr. President gave his assent, believing that the overall release of these girls remains paramount and sacrosanct.
“Unfortunately, after more than two weeks of negotiation and bargains, the group, just at the dying moments, issued new set of demands never bargained for or discussed by the group before the movement to Maiduguri. All this while, the security agencies waited patiently.
“This development stalled what would have been the first release process of the Chibok girls.”
He added by the month of November, “precisely 13th November 2015, another fresh negotiation process with the group was initiated”.
“This time, there was the need to discuss a fresh component in other to avoid issues that had stalled the former arrangement,” he said.
“By 30th November 2015 it was becoming glaring that the division amongst the group was more profound. This affected the swap process.
“By 10th December 2015, another negotiation process was in place, but this failed to achieve results because of the varying demands by the group.”
Mohammed reiterated the commitment of the government to ensuring the safe release of the Chibok girls.
The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement, which has been advocating the release of the Chibok girls, renewed protests in August after the release of a video clip showing some of the girls.
They demanded they would continue to march to the villa every 72 hours (working days) until the president briefs them on an immediate plan to get the Chibok girls rescued.
The movement also accused the Buhari administration of not doing anything to rescue the girls.