In an apparent move to debunk contracting reports making rounds recently, the Nigerian Senate President, David Mark has confirmed that the federal government will not swap the kidnapped schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State for captured Boko Haram insurgents.
Mark made this disclosure in Ikom local government area of Cross River State at the weekend where he went to witness an empowerment programme by Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba.
Speaking against the backdrop of demands by Boko Haram to swap the abducted Chibok girls with their members in detention, Mark said the government will not will not yield to blackmail.
* Senate President, David Mark
According to the Senate President, “the federal government government will not negotiate with criminals. And this government will not exchange people for criminals. A criminal will be treated like a criminal and this government in no distant time will bring the issue of Boko Haram and insecurity in this country to a logical conclusion.
“We would spare no efforts at all in bringing the insecurity situation in the northern part of this country to a logical conclusion. We would mobilize all our resources. If people declare war on us, we would also declare war on them. The government was ready for peace, but obviously, the Boko Haram people and their supporters were not ready and we are going to deal with them in a manner that people deal with terrorists and insurgents.
* Abducted school girls in Chibok, Borno
“It is not by negotiation. If the language they will understand is the language of force, the government has got all the resources to do that."
No fewer than 276 schoolgirls were abducted by the Boko Haram sect on 14 April inside the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State.
The leader of the terror group, Abubakar Shekau, came out few days later to say he would not let go of the girls unless in exchange for some of 'his brethren' in Nigerian prisons.