The media is agog with news of the release of 82 Chibok girls who have been kept hostage by the Boko Haram jihadists.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that Boko Haram released a batch of more than 80 of the Chibok high school girls who were abducted in mid-April 2014.
Sahara Reporters had earlier reported that 80 girls were freed but sources close to the deal however insisted that only 62 girls were released.
The report said the release abducted school girls came after further negotiations between the Islamist group and the Muhammadu administration.
Some details of the negotiation involved in the release of 82 more Chibok girls by the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists were released on Sunday, May 7.
According to Sahara Reporters, a combined team of military and Red Cross negotiators involved in the negotiation flew two Boko Haram commanders to Banki town in Borno state in exchange for the girls while the Nigerian army took custody of the girls who were handed over by Boko Haram representatives.
The Department of State Security (DSS) was also heavily involved in the negotiation that led to the release of the girls.
Sani Usman who resides in Baki said they were apprehensive when they saw the military planes landing.
“We were not sure why the helicopters were landing until we saw two men handcuffed and driven away in a military convoy and also the Chibok girls driven into town under heavy military escort.”
Taking a second look at the development, Fiona Lovatt, a renowned educationist, raised some vital points regarding the entire deal.
Below is the conversation stirred and afterwards are 4 vital points noted.
The issues that must be given critical attention
1. Did the government use the exchange to Nigeria's advantage
It would be nice to know that the jihadists that were given in exchage for the girls, were not just released to go free, without their release being of value to Nigeria.
Is there a way the government would use the release of these terrorist to bring an and to the insurgency war?
2. Are there proper arrangements to re-integrate the girls back to the real life, away from the captivity they have experienced?
The government must show readiness to give help the girls fully recover from their dilemma.
Academically, they must given the best to get them up to speed, medically, they must be given all the care to help them survive the trauma they have been through.
3. What is the fate of the girls back in the communities
When the released return to their homes, it is important that they find it welcoming. There are cases of the girls being stigmatized.
There has to be campaigns orienting the people on why the girls deserve their love and respect.
The government must also ensure that the babies they return with are protected, there are some who would rather treat them as outcasts, and label them bastards.
4. Now that we are negotiating with terrorist, what is the fate of the remaining girls held hostage
There are still some Chibok girls left out there in the dark, the release of these few suggest that their return is possible.
Kudos must be given to the Buhari-led administration for bringing some of the girls home.
However, there used to be a time when negotiating with terrorists was off the table, one wonders what the government will do next, now that this negotiation has been confirmed.
Beyond negotiating for the girls, shall the nation also negotiate for an end to this war? Shall we also broker a deal for repentant Boko Haram fighters?