- Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai, Nigeria's Chief of Army Staff (COAS), came out clean in the interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation
- Buratai also said the fact that Boko Haram insurgents are now confined to limited areas shows that the terrorist group has been defeated
The release of the second batch of the 82 Chibok girls recently was a political decision and not one taken by the Nigerian Army, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai has said.
Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) in Nigeria, said this in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
According to Buratai, the Nigerian Army has performed its own roles for the safe passage of the abducted Chibok girls.
Buratai insisted that Boko Haram has been defeated since they only operate in a limited area unlike in the past when they were present in some northern states.
He said: “The Boko Haram terrorists’ swap for the Chibok schoolgirls was a political decision, not a military decision.
“It is in the best interest of the nation and based on the circumstances, the government felt it was the best course.
“Personally, I think it has its own advantages; the message is to rescue the Chibok girls.
“I do not think anyone has said the Boko Haram has been eliminated. Terrorism is something that is resilient.
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“Before May 2015, the Boko Haram insurgents were even in Abuja, Kano and Kaduna. They were operating even to the south. We had to stop them.
“For the past one and a half years, we have not had any attack in Jos, Abuja, Kano and many other places, not even as close as Gombe state.
“They are only concentrated within certain areas in Borno and Yobe states.”
NAIJ.com had quoted Daily Trust as reporting that the federal government swapped five Boko Haram militants for the 82 Chibok schoolgirls recently released.
This is contrary to some media reports that just two Boko Haram commanders were released in the swap deal.
According to negtiator of the swap deal, the outcome should be seen as “a favourable bargain,” considering what obtained in other climes when it comes to prisoner swap of innocent citizens with suspected terrorists.
Watch this video and see how the Nigerian military engages Boko Haram insurgents: