- After over three years in captivity, 82 Chibok girls were released
- They were released in exchange for some detained Boko Haram’s suspects
- Some of the girls reportedly refused to be freed, a negotiator disclosed
- The federal is holding talks with Boko Haram to not only release the girls in captivity but also stop hostilities in the north east
Eighty two of the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram militants from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state, in April 2014, were released at the weekend.
Their release has been greeted with celebration. Though, some Nigerians have condemned the swapping of the girls for Boko Haram suspects.
President Muhammadu Buhari met with the girls at the Presidential Villa on Sunday, May 7, before he departed for London on a medical trip.
These and other headlines are on the front pages of Nigerian newspapers today, May 9.
Vanguard reports that there are indications that the federal government will initiate fresh talks with the Abubakar Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram on how end suicide missions and ensure normalcy is restored in the north eastern part of the country.
As more details on how the girls were released continue to unfold, a top source close to the deal said the entire negotiation was done with the Abubakar Shekau faction of the sect.
The source disclosed that apart from the Chibok girls, there were thousands of other Nigerian women still trapped in the enclave of Boko Haram terrorists who must be rescued.
According to the source, the federal government and the leaders of the sect had agreed to open discussions on how to free all the girls in their custody and end it hostilities.
The Punch reports that some of the abducted schoolgirls refused to be part of the group of 82 girls who were freed.
This was disclosed by a legal practitioner and mediator, Zannah Mustapha.
Their refusal has fuelled fears that they may have been radicalised by the sect, and might be afraid, ashamed or even too powerful to return to their old lives.
According to Mustapha, future talks between the government and the sect would extend beyond the release of the remaining Chibok girls in captivity and focus on negotiating peace in the north east.
The Ahmed Makarfi faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) criticised the swapping of the girls for Boko Haram suspects, criticised the swapping of the girls for Boko Haram suspects, The Nation reports.
Reacting to the criticism, the federal government said it showed the party never wanted the girls freed.
The federal government described the criticism as indecent and inhuman.
In a statement issued by the minister of information, Lai Mohammed, said the disdain for human life as exhibited by the PDP statement was the same reason the girls were kidnapped in the first instance, and it took the PDP-led federal government eternity before even acknowledging the abduction, thus losing critical time for their rescue.
This Day reports that President Buhari has expressed confidence that his absence would not affect the smooth running of government.
Before departing on a medical trip to London, Buhari handed the reins of power to his deputy, Osinbajo.
A statement by the president's media aide, Femi Adesina read: “The length of the president’s stay in London will be determined by the doctors. Government will continue to function normally under the able leadership of the vice-president. President Buhari has transmitted letters about the trip to the Senate and the House of Representatives, in compliance with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 Constitution."
On the front page of The Guardian is the headline: ‘Suspended SGF Lawal, Ikoyigate probe in limbo’
The fate of suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), David Babachir Lawal and Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke, may have been put on hold due to Buhari’s fresh medical vacation to the United Kingdom.
It was gathered that the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo-led panel which investigated the allegations of breach of trust and graft against the duo submitted its report shortly before Buhari’s departure on Sunday night.
Uncertainty now surrounds the presidency’s resolution until otherwise decided by the government because of this development.
NAIJ.com keeps you informed on trending issues in the nation. The video below takes a look at the most controversial topics on the social media in the past one week such as Mercy Aigbe's domestic violence saga and others.