By Tyobur Adanyi
ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – A United Kingdom based Nigerian activist, Philip Agbese has urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to accept the call to swap Boko Haram prisoners with the Chibok girls, saying such move will put the country in grave security risk.
Agbese in a letter to the President described the offer of the prisoners swap as a “poisoned chalice”. He said it is best imagined what the realease of 1000 Boko Haram detainees will do to the current security situation in the country.
It would be recalled that the Bring Back Our Girls Group (BBOG) say they are planning a protest to pressure government into trading the girls as demanded by Boko Haram.
But the activist said when it happens, their protest is going to offer a needed distraction to the western media that are by now tiring of their newfound poster boy in Syria, adding that the Nigerian government and military would be demonised and the protestors would offer the validation that is needed to make the image of a failing state stick.
According to him what they are however asking for could eventually sink not just Nigeria but the entire West Africa and the Maghreb with some spill over to Central and East Africa.
He said, “The ongoing orchestra that is whining for terrorists considers everything with the exception of one; recidivism. These groups and individuals that have been canvassing a swop of Boko Haram prisoners for the abducted Chibok Girls do so without regards for the penchant for recidivism among terrorists like any other type of criminals.
“Recidivism is the chances of a previously arrested, detained or convicted terrorist returning to extremism or violence. Military records would probably show that some of these people we are being asked to free are in incarceration because it was not their first time of being tied to terror.
“Mr President, recidivism is difficult to measure, particularly so in a country like Nigeria where we are still working to bring our statistics and research capabilities up to date. But cases like the US Guantanamo Bay facility and Indonesia record anywhere between 10 and 30 percent instances of re-offense among released terrorists. That means if Nigeria frees 1000 Boko Haram detainees there is a fair chance that we are putting anything in the range of 300 terrorists back on the streets. It took fewer than that number to abduct the girls in the first place.”
He said in the case of what has been witnessed in Nigeria so far, not many of those that would be released would return to being farmers, artisans or becoming informants to the security agencies. Instead, the reality is there is the risk of them returning to the war front to re-stock Boko Haram’s fighting ranks.
He said worst still is The fact that the level of our infrastructure equally means the released terrorist cannot be adequately tracked so they could flee to Syria, Somali, Yemen or other terror strongholds, make new connections there, build new cells and revive a Boko Haram that is almost completely wiped out.