Negotiating With Terrorist: Is It a Sign That Buhari Has Failed?

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Some senators have hinted that the release of some of the Chibok girls kidnapped in April 2014, involved payment of ransom to the Boko Haram terror group.

While the federal government has confirmed that negotiations took place in the release of some of the 276 captured Chibok girls, it has however kept mum on the issue of possible ransom paid. Over 100 of the Chibok girls have been released while scores more are still being held by the terrorists.

The lawmakers explained that Boko Haram now kidnap women and girls so as to negotiate and ”get money” from the federal government ”just like the case of Chibok girls.” Mr. Lawan (APC, Yobe North), Bukar Abba (APC, Yobe East) all confirmed this fact earlier today.

Facts about how the Federal Government raised the fund to pay ramson and other details were not revealed which is not really important now knowing why and how prevalent corruption is in our system. The main question is whether President Buhari’s government is right to negotiate with Boko Haram terrorist contrary to his campaign promise to extinct the group within a year in office.

On March 1, 1973, a group of gunmen stormed into a reception being held at the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, taking hostage a group of diplomats that included the U.S. ambassador and deputy chief of mission. The militants—from the Palestinian group Black September, which a year earlier had killed nine Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics—demanded the immediate release of a list of prisoners in Germany, Israel, Jordan, and the United States, including Sirhan Sirhan, the convicted assassin of Robert Kennedy.

At a press conference the next day, President Nixon was asked if the U.S. government was considering Sirhan’s release. “As far as the United States as a government giving in to blackmail demands, we cannot do so and we will not do so,” the president said. “We will do everything that we can to get them released, but we will not pay blackmail.” Several hours later both U.S. diplomats were dead.

Politicians have long been saying one thing and doing another when it comes to hostage negotiations. It was Ronald Reagan, who, as a candidate, upped the ante by promising that when he became president, “there will be no negotiation with terrorists of any kind.” But his administration infamously negotiated the sale of weapons to Iran as part of an effort to secure the release of American hostages in Lebanon.

George W. Bush also boldly proclaimed, “No nation can negotiate with terrorists, for there is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death.” But in 2002 his White House supported arranging a ransom payment to the al-Qaida-affiliated Abu Sayyaf Group in the Philippines in an unsuccessful attempt to secure the release of two American hostages.

Therefore by precedent, President Buhari’s negotiation with Boko-Haram for the release of Chibok girls shouldn’t be seen as out of convention especially, considering governments role to protect life (Which it failed earlier) under our perceived social contract.

Where we must hold the government responsible is the instance of constantly claiming to have defeated Boko-Haram while in reality, these group always come up with endless successful operations. President Buhari has obviously failed not only on his campaign promise but on his responsibility to protect lives and property owing to continuous operation of Boko Haram and Killer Herdsmen.


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