Powerful forces nearly frustrated Dapchi girls release - Sources

Sources involved in the talks that led to the release of the Dapchi schoolgirls have disclosed that powerful forces within the government, opposition and certain elements outside the country, nearly frustrated the negotiations. 

According to Daily Trust, the unnamed individuals wanted to make the Dapchi girls’ abduction a campaign issue in the coming months. 

Sources involved in the talks that led to the release of the Dapchi schoolgirls have disclosed that powerful forces within the government, opposition and certain elements outside the country, nearly frustrated the negotiations. 

the source stated that the President Muhammadu Buhari gave two options to the Al-Barnawy faction of the Boko Haram group – to either negotiate within a certain time frame or be bombed out. As such, the terrorists knew they could not keep using the girls as human shields. He stated: “The international committee is helping the government with intelligence report, the Al-Barnawy Boko Haram knows this very well; they know they are being monitored and to a greater extent, they know there is a limit to indiscretion.” Mirroring this position, another source reportedly stated that the process was nearly aborted even though Al-Barnawy opted for the negotiations. He said: “The unfortunate thing is that in the last few weeks, there was an attempt to kill this process; some people were maligning the process, saying billions of naira was being siphoned, it was clearly an attempt to kill the process. “I suspect that perhaps some people were unhappy about the success; some people were thinking that if they kill it, they would open their own channel for mediation; I think Nigeria is very fortunate because they didn’t succeed.” He continued: “I understand that it is very difficult for Nigerians to believe that you can actually free 104 girls without giving the insurgents money or exchanging these girls with other things; but the reality is this is what happened. “What the mediation process did was to appeal to their sense of propriety; if there is such a word that you can apply to it. And it was a very intense pressure that was brought to bear on the righteousness of those particular insurgents in terms of justifying their action by kidnapping small girls from a secondary school. “The process appealed to the sense of their piety, their indignation and their commitment to their ideology, and it worked pretty much.” The source further disclosed that total involvement of those who mattered, on the Nigerian side, also contributed to the release of the girls. 

In his words: “You had the military, the SSS and there was excellent intelligence on what needed to be done, and you have complete unanimity on how to free the girls without compromising national security or the interest of the Nigerian state. “And also, the process itself should not be damaged more than it can be salvaged. But as I said, it is difficult for Nigerians to believe but this is exactly what happened - no money was exchanged at all in the case of the Dapchi girls.” 

According to another source: “The (Nigerian) government’s narrative of unconditional release is 100 percent correct; the narrative and headlines around this latest release are just depressing. “There are many reasons why ISWAP (Islamic State) agreed to do what they did and admittedly, it is quite unprecedented, but I guarantee you it is true.” 
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