In my article May last year, captioned "Dear FGN: No Responsible Nation Ever Paid And Freed Terror Masterminds Within Its Borders," in rebuke of the Buhari government and its defense of its actions in reportedly paying Boko Haram terrorists millions of dollars and freeing the deadly group's terror masterminds in exchange for some Chibok girls, I wrote, and I quote:
"If the US ever dared pay and free terror masterminds on US soil, you can expect not just a massive class-action lawsuit from the public, but also immediate Senate impeachment of the US president. And you can take that sentence to the bank. I feel sorry that I have to write to point this out. I had earlier written an article explaining why just like I repeatedly advised and warned former President Goodluck Jonathan, it is likewise wrong, treacherous and a violation of Nigeria’s anti-terror bill and the laws of God, for Nigeria to pay and free terrorists with blood and/or rape on their hands. Freeing terrorists and paying them is punishable by life imprisonment. [Ref: The Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 and Amendment Bill of 2012 with amendments to Section 17]"
SaharaReporters had broken the story of the portentous deal with the heavy cash payment to the terrorists and the Wall Street Journal on May 6th that year confirmed with the shocking details:
"Inside the trucks sat five captured fighters, freshly extracted from prison, the first piece of the government’s proposed bargain. In a separate vehicle, according to people involved in the deal, a security detail guarded Nigeria’s principal concession to the Islamist terror group, a black duffel bag containing €2 million in plastic-wrapped cash."
In a follow-up article I gave further details of the role of the French Geneva Red Cross and local negotiators in the dirty deal and examined how the previous Jonathan government had on principle, refused such dangerous and jeopardous deals to pay Boko Haram terrorists. That article was captioned "Intricate Details of Buhari’s Deal With Boko Haram – By Dr. Perry Brimah," published May last year.
Today, president Buhari himself has told the African Union why terrorists should not be paid while continuing to pay and free Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria, thus directly encouraging terror and the Dapchi and future abductions as a most profitable venture for the terrorists and other aspiring terror and kidnap groups across the nation now and in the years to come.
Paying Terrorists as a Channel for Corruption
It is important to point out that when $5 million is paid to the terrorists, the total amount taken from the nation's coffers could be four times that. $20 million may have been released by the NSA, of which government officials involved in the negotiations pocket some for politics, negotiators pocket some and involved international organizations also pocket their cut, with the $5 million remaining finally reaching the terrorists' hands. Payments to terrorists do not only finance their future terror and encourage a climate of terror but it serves as a route for looting the nation's treasury. The secrecy of such deals makes it impossible to know the entire risk, damage, and looting of the nation in such shady government deals.
Till date, the exact amount of money paid by the Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai to Fulani terrorists as he announced, is not known. [See: "We’ve paid some Fulani to stop killings in Southern Kaduna – El-Rufai," December 2016] This money could be going a long way in financing the current dastardly waves of fully armed herdsmen terror across the entire nation which ave cost the nation its very fabric in addition to hundreds of lives and billions in property loses.
No More Deals!
The current government policy of paying terrorists in Nigeria must be stopped. Nigeria's police should be upgraded with mass recruitment and the 80% callously allocated to protecting the cabal, pulled from them to serve the people.
Preventing abductions and responding appropriately by land, sea, and air within hours of reports should be Nigeria's method of abating terror and abductions. Like former president Jonathan who took two weeks to respond to the Chibok saga, Buhari too took 8 days. This is unconscionable. The first 48 hours are most important in fighting crime. It is four years later with four years of advances in technology and four years to seal the borders and four years to tackle Boko Haram but Nigeria is still where it was four years ago. Like Jonathan, Buhari has not yet arrested a single sponsor of Boko Haram.
There must be punishment including immediate suspension, impeachment and imprisonment and/or death sentencing as stipulated by Nigeria's Anti-Terrorism laws for officials at any level found to be involved in the process of paying and freeing terrorists outside of the court and constitution.
Sadly, as we speak, the Buhari government is likely offering more millions of FOREX to Boko Haram and the freeing of more of its most deadly terrorists in foreign agency participated negotiations.
Dr. Perry Brimah; @EveryNigerian.