Boko Haram seeks a ransom of nearly N10billion from the Federal Government for the release of the over 219 schoolgirls that it abducted from their school in Chibok town on April 14, 2014, sources close to the group have told The Sunday Telegraph.
The sources alleged that the ferocious Islamic death cult made the demands “during secret contacts with the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, who has said he is willing to negotiate for the girls’ freedom.”
The ‘shadowy’ leader of the nefarious sect, Abubakar Shekau had initially demanded in exchange for the girls the release of jailed top commanders of the sect; however, the deal failed along the line after Nigerian prison officials said that commanders on a list given to them by Boko Haram were not in their custody.
The Sunday Telegraph reports that details of the new ransom request emerged ahead of the second anniversary of the girls kidnapping on the night of April 14, 2014, when they were abducted by Boko Haram gunmen posing as soldiers.
A source close to the Islamic group said that about three months ago, Boko Haram sent a message saying it would exchange the girls for a ransom of 10bn Naira, the equivalent of around £36m.
“The ransom demand has split the government,” said the source. “Some think it would be worth it just to resolve the Chibok situation, but others say it will simply allow Boko Haram to hire yet more insurgent recruits.”
A month after the ransom was demanded, the heinous death cult allegedly in clandestine passed the government a new video tape showing 15 of the kidnapped girls.
“The girls are asked what their Christian names are and what their new Muslim names are,” he said, referring to the “conversion” that Boko Haram forces Christian prisoners to undergo. “They are also asked if they have been raped or mistreated, but they say no – they look relaxed.”
Reacting to the allegation, a top security source said:
“There is no ongoing deal with Boko Haram at any level. That claim by the sect or any other person is incorrect.
“President Muhammadu will not engage in any backdoor deal with the insurgents. The report was talking of the last three months in which Boko Haram had been severely decimated by the military.”
When contacted by the media house, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said “I will find out from the appropriate security chiefs and get back to you.”
Meanwhile, the Department of State Security (DSS) has disclosed on Saturday that the arrested Boko Haram Deputy Commander, Khalid Al- Barnawi, was responsible for the bombing of the United Nations (UN) building in Abuja, on August 26, 2011 and the attack on troops in Okene, Kogi State, while in transit to Abuja.
The security outfit also said that the suspected leader of ANSARU – a breakaway faction of Boko Haram – was responsible for the kidnapping of two European civil engineers in Kebbi State in May, 2011, and their subsequent murder in Sokoto State.