The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi criticized the government for agreeing to swap 5 Boko Haram commanders in return of 82 Chibok girls who were kidnapped by the terror group back in 2014.
After the girls’ release on Friday night, May 5, Makarfi criticized the government for the prisoner swap, stating that thus the terror group was strengthened and encouraged to continue its atrocities. The party also said the suspected terrorists had escaped justice by their release and “all the efforts made by the security agencies to bring them to book had come to nothing” and that this is violation of the generally accepted international principles never to negotiate with terrorists.
PDP’s statement was condemned by the other parties as an attempt to politicize the girl’s release. The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed made a statement on behalf of the federal government to defend their decision and accused PDP for not respecting human life.
“If that includes swapping some Boko Haram elements for the girls, so what? Will the PDP rather have the girls stay in perpetual captivity, just to prove a ludicrous point? Didn’t superpower the United States engage in negotiations with the Taliban that led to the exchange of five Taliban fighters for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in 2014? Didn’t Israel release 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, in 2011?” Mohammed asked.
He also said that the PDP-controlled government failed to act correctly at the time of the abduction of the girls on April 14, 2014, which led to them being held by Boko Haram for more than 3 years.
“Since the PDP failed – as it did in everything – to rescue even one of the Chibok girls, the party should hold its peace while this administration continues to seek the release of all the abducted girls, using every means at its disposal, in addition to working assiduously to end all Boko Haram hostilities,” Mohammed said.