Sources in the Nigerian military, have blamed President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Department of State Security Service, DSS, over the recent ransom paid to Boko Haram, in exchange for the release of some Chibok girls.
According to the sources, the recent upsurge in the killings, and disappearance of soldiers engaged in the fight against the insurgents, was as a result of the alleged $50 million.
The military men, told Saturday PUNCH, that despite denials by the Federal Government, money was paid to the sect, to secure the release of the abducted girls.
It was learnt that the Federal Government, paid the cash in two currencies, the naira, and the CFA Francs, to the leaders of the sect, to facilitate the release of the girls.
Prior to the current increase in the attacks by the insurgents, it was learnt that the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, deployed in the North-East, had effectively cut off food and logistics supply to the insurgents.
Some of the sources, who are also Commanders at the war front, said that the troops had effectively defeated the Boko Haram members, who were on the run, while a good number of them had surrendered and taken to a rehabilitation camp, established by the Defence Headquarters, in Yola.
In October, 83 soldiers were reported missing, days after they came under a Boko Haram attack.
Though there have been increasing reports of soldiers either missing, or killed since the Chibok girls were released, the military had initially denied the report, but it later said that only 39 soldiers were missing.
Also, on November 4, seven military men, including Lt.-Col. Muhammad Abu-Ali, were killed on their way to reinforce troops at Mallam Fatori, during a Boko Haram attack.
Two days later, one soldier was also killed, while four others were wounded in the line of duty.
One of the sources, said it was sad that the same government that was initially seen as tough enough to end insurgency in the country, failed to negotiate with Boko Haram from a position of strength.
“It is unfortunate that in government’s desperation to secure the release of the Chibok girls, it has put our (soldiers’) lives in danger, by yielding to the demands of the group, to collect a ransom, and secure the release of its Commanders.
“It is now obvious that the group has reinforced, and bought more weapons to fight us.”
Further investigation, revealed that Boko Haram members, who were routed out of their dreaded Sambisa enclave by the military, had regrouped at Abadam, and were still holding onto the fringes of Mallam Fatori, in the Northern part of Borno State.
However, the Presidency on Friday, insisted that the Federal Government did not pay members of the Boko Haram sect to secure freedom for the released Chibok girls.
However, one of the Lawmakers involved in the negotiation, which led to the release of the 21 girls, confirmed that a ransom was paid to Boko Haram, but said the amount was far less than $50 million.