3 Baba Gana Mongunu
4.Mallam Bashir Kachallah
6. Mallam Baba Gana
7. Mallam Baba Mala
8. Mallam Abakar
9. Mallam Ibrahim
10. Mallam Awana
11. Mallam Yarema
12. Mallam Albani Jos
13. Mallam Tuja.
As we reported Thursday, after weeks of tough negotiations, the government and Boko Haram sides finally accepted to what famously came to be dubbed the “prisoner swap” of the Chibok girls with
some commanders of the Boko Haram fighting forces.
Our sources understood the “happening” to be a factional disagreement on the ethnic composition of the 10 names tabled for the swap. “They were all of Kanuri nationality and it appeared the Hausa/Fulani faction protested this.”
The result of this disagreement was about one week delay in the negotiations after which a “new list of 15 was tabled, and then it was increased to 16”.
“Swap is not our idea but the idea of the government,“ the Boko Haram negotiators initially argued, trying to insist on the high road, but they later deferred to the age of Mr. Clark, according to our sources.
“Prisoners and the girls must offer consent before the deal can be closed” ICRC insisted. To get the consent of the girls the ICRC said they were prepared to risk going into the enclave of the insurgency.
The government, in an exuberant show of enthusiasm chartered a Boeing 737 jet to convey the girls to Abuja from Yola. What was thought to be a discreet arrangement turned into a fantasia and loud orchestra show. Moreover, “when we arrived Yola, half of the airport was covered with security forces” noted one of the insiders to the deal.
“Then they moved negotiators to the presidential lounge for a two-hour wait…then 48 hours in the hotel…but Yola had been infiltrated by these people and the security presence sent a wrong signal… clearly these people didn’t trust the arrangement and they never showed up.”
Apart from Mr. Clark, others who participated in the negotiation were two notable Nigerian civil rights leaders, Fred Eno, and Shehu Sani, Maiduguri-based lawyer, Mustapha Zanna, and PDP chieftain, Kaka Bolori, along with three top officials of the International Red Cross headquarters office in Geneva which served as the “interface” negotiators, and two field captains of the Boko Haram sect.
“The whole thing is unfortunate, but hopefully we can revive the negotiations,” one of the negotiators,
Fred Eno, told PREMIUM TIMES. “The president desperately wanted the girls released, but politics of positioning stood in the way of progress.”
Benoit Matsha-Carpentier, the Senior Media Officer for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, was also unavailable. He is yet to return calls made to him.