NIGERIA – Nigeria paid ‘ large ransom’ to free Dapchi girls, UN says

CBN News | Aug. 16, 2018

In spite of Nigerian government denial on multiple occasions, the United Nations has said that a splinter Boko Haram group that kidnapped the Dapchi girls in February was paid a “large ransom”.

The girls were kidnapped from their school on February 18. One of the girls, Leah Sharibu, is yet to be released for refusing to convert to Islam, other freed girls said.

The Nigerian government said on March 21 that negotiations through a back-channel led to the release of the girls and a boy. But a report published by the United Nations on Tuesday said the government lied.

The deliberate falsehood peddled by the Nigerian government about the ransom came after the President Muhammadu Buhari told former American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Abuja that his government was going to explore negotiation instead of a military option to secure the release.

“We are trying to be careful. It is better to get our daughters back alive,” Buhari said.

While the case of the Dapchi Chibok schoolgirls, kidnapped in April 2014 have enjoyed enormous media coverage, UNICEF said in April that over 1000 children have been kidnapped by Boko Haram since 2013.

“Since 2013, more than 1,000 children have been abducted by Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, including 276 girls taken from their secondary school in the town of Chibok in 2014,” Mohamed Malick Fall, a UNICEF representative in Nigeria said in a statement.

“These repeated attacks against children in schools are unconscionable.”

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