The recent ransom paid to Boko Haram in exchange for the release of some Chibok girls have contributed to the recent upsurge in the killings and disappearances of soldiers engaged in the fight against the insurgents, senior military sources have revealed to Punchng.
The military men said despite denials by the FG, money was paid to the sect to secure the release of the abducted girls. It was learnt that the insurgents demanded for $50m for the release of the girls but about a quarter of the sum was eventually paid.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the FG paid the cash in two currencies – the naira and the CFA Francs, to the leaders of the sect to facilitate the release of the girls.
Prior to the current increase in the attacks by the insurgents, it was learnt that the troops had effectively cut off food and logistics supply to the insurgents.
Some of the sources, who are also commanders at the war front, said that the troops had effectively defeated the Boko Haram members, who were on the run while a good number of them had surrendered.
One of the sources said it was sad that the same government that was initially seen as tough enough to end insurgency in the country failed to negotiate with Boko Haram from a position of strength.
“It is unfortunate that in government’s desperation to secure the release of the Chibok girls, it has put our soldiers’ lives in danger. It is now obvious that the group has reinforced and bought more weapons to fight us.”
According to a source, left to the military, the ransom and the exchange of Boko Haram members for Chibok girls would not have taken place.
Another source said, “They got the Chibok girls and suddenly the Boko Haram that we had beaten and chased out of Sambisa are attacking and killing men of quality.”
It is very obvious that they have used the ransom to buy equipment and recruit men to carry out their heinous acts. Another thing you must note is that the towns around the borders are occupied by mercenaries from foreign countries. Where did they get the money to fund that?”