Boko Haram has finally demanded a ransom of approximately N10 billion (£36 million) for the release of the 219 schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok in Borno state, the Telegraph is reporting.
According to the United Kingdom newspaper, the terrorist sect has made contact with the Nigerian government and have expressed willingness to negotiate for the freedom of the girls.
A previous deal brokered by the Red Cross in 2015 fell through after prison officials said some of the Boko Haram top men that were to be released in place of the girls were not in their custody.
The new ransom request emerged days before the second anniversary of the abduction of the girls on April 14, 2014.
A source close Boko Haram said that around three months ago, Boko Haram sent a message saying it would exchange the girls for a ransom of 10bn Naira, the equivalent of around £36m.
“The ransom demand has split the government,” said the source. “Some think it would be worth it just to resolve the Chibok situation, but others say it will simply allow Boko Haram to hire yet more insurgent recruits.”
The same source also said that a month after the ransom demand, Boko Haram had secretly passed the government a new video tape showing 15 of the kidnapped girls.
“The girls are asked what their Christian names are and what their new Muslim names are,” the source said, referring to the “conversion” that Boko Haram forces Christian prisoners to undergo. “They are also asked if they have been raped or mistreated, but they say no – they look relaxed.”
Source: The Telegraph