New hope for the nation has appeared again as it was learnt yesterday that Boko Haram listed 19 sect commanders for the swap with 30 Chibok girls, whose names were also provided.
The Nation reports with reference to its source that the Nigerian government and the coordinators of talks with the group have this list.
Apart from 19 key commanders names, the list includes 30 girls, who may be released to test the government's commitment, after which the remaining 189 children could be set free.
According to the report, there are 15 Christian and 15 Muslim girls, who may reunite with their families after Eid-el-Kabir festival when the sides resume negotiations.
It is believed, however, that the Nigerian authorities still insist on the release of all the girls at one time, which would be a "meaningful swap deal". Moreover, the government will return to the talks with only a request: release of all the girls, the source said.
Recent negotiation in Abuja were attended by human rights activist and President of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria Shehu Sani, Red Cross officials, former Information Minister Edwin Clark and other prominent figures. Boko Haram side was represented by a 2-man delegation.
The list of Chibok girls who might be soon released was composed on the basis of the discovery that they are married with children. The names were made available to those in attendance.
By the time of filing this report 20 out of 30 names from the list have been obtained, and the list of commanders was received in full.
Christian girls: Mary Usman, Julie Yakubu, Jummai Paul, Rahila Bitrus, Rabika Lukas, Rodha John, Naomi Yohanna, Ruth Kolo, Tabitha Fagu and Hannatu Isiaku.
Muslim girls: Kwadugu Manu, Hauwa Wule, Aishatu Grema, Aisha Lawan, Halima Gamba, Kabu Malla, Mariam Abubakar, Rakiya Gamba, Hamsatu Abubakar and Hasana Adamu.
Boko Haram commanders (19): Awwal Albani Sultaniya, Malam Abdullahi Damasak, Mallam Bashir, Baa Malam, Mallam Tijjani al Barnawi, Mallam Musa Moby, Mallam Awara, Mallam Zindar Zindawi, Baa Alhaji, Bana Mongono, Baraa Mallami, Sheikh Umar ibn Mustapha, Mallam Jabir Al Jjihad, Tanko al Kurd, Mallam Aradu, Abidina Janzila and Mallam Aboul Kaka.
The source added that the sides were very close to sealing the deal.
"We hope that at the resumption of talks after the Eid-el Kabir festival, all the negotiators will have a common ground on all issues involved in the deal so that the girls can at least regain freedom. Although the sect may opt for a phased release, beginning with 30 girls, the government is insisting on wholesale freedom. There is a ray of hope."
Another source disclosed why the authorities insisted on the release of all 219 girls.
"Some of the commanders are ‘deadly’ because they are ready to lay down their lives any time. They do not hide their commitment to the sect even in their various detention facilities in Maiduguri, Kaduna and Abuja.
"In fact, security agencies are skeptical about freedom for Malam Abdullahi Damasak, who is rated as the ‘most lethal’ among the commanders. The government is circumspect that if the 19 commanders are released, Boko Haram might only let 30 girls free instead of 219. The government does not want to fall into any negotiation trap which will compound the woes of the abducted girls."
When contacted, the government officials were unwilling to comment on any development of the situation, but civil rights activist Fred Eno, who was also involved in the negotiations, told The Telegraph of UK last week:
"We felt the negotiations would go better with the backing of a major international humanitarian organisation like the ICRC. There have been two or three ICRC people at each meeting – international staff rather than Nigerians – and they accompany the government security agents to the various prisons and detention centres to identify the people that Boko Haram want released."
Abandoned Chibok girl pregnant
It would be recalled that yesterday the news broke out that one of the missing girls was found close to Kwarihi village near Mubi, Adamawa State.
National Chairman of Chibok Community Development Association, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, told The Cable that the girl was likely pregnant.
According to Punch, Bitrus said they were not sure that the found girl was from Chibok, because her name was not in the previously released names of students abducted in April.
"However, we are still trying to establish if really she is from Chibok, because from our sources, the last name of the released girl does not tally with the surname of the person bearing the first name of the released girl captured in our records and whose father is a carpenter at Chibok. So, we are still trying to work out every detail."
He also said she might be seriously traumatized.
"I was speaking Kibaku to her, but she did not respond; she was incoherent. She may be having mental issues as a result of trauma."
The official added that based on the preliminary tests she was pregnant. The final confirmation is yet expected from the qualified doctor.
"When she was picked up, she was taken to a clinic, not a standard hospital, and tests were carried out on her. From the tests, it was said she is pregnant, but that is still in the speculative domain because a qualified medical doctor has not confirmed that she is pregnant."
However according to National Mirror, the Chairman of Chibok Community in Abuja, Tsambido Hosea Abana, confirmed in a telephone interview yesterday that she was 4-months pregnant.
Abana also said that the girl was for sure the abducted Chibok student:
"Susan is actually one of our daughters abducted from Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok."
Nearly 300 girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents on April 14 from Chibok school, Borno State.While 57 later managed to escape, the 219 are still held in captivity. The circulating reports say another swap deal, girls for the sect prisoners, might soon take place.