By Marcus Ikechukwu
Usman Alkali Baba, Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, has said security agencies tackling insecurity are sometimes forced to negotiate with terrorists or kidnappers to free hostages unhurt.
Justifying the claims, he said it would be an exercise in futility if armed terrorists abduct persons and the police search for them under captivity using extreme force.
Alkali Baba made the explanations against the backdrop of over 80 Chibok girls still in Boko Haram captivity, including 29 students of FGC Birni Yauri who have not been set free several years after their abduction.
The IGP made the disclosures on Thursday while featuring at the weekly briefings coordinated by the Presidential Media Team in Abuja.
His words, “You see, the issue of kidnapping is an issue that borders almost all the security agents, including the military; it is a crime that once it is committed, you have to thread very softly and with all sense of professionalism.
“If you do not rescue the person safely, unhurt, you have not achieved anything, and once somebody is in the captivity of an armed person, then you need to do a lot of things; it is not all about guns and other things.
“There are a lot of other things that can be done. We were able to rescue the whole of Forestry students in Kaduna through negotiation, we were able to rescue many others, which I can give you an example; for those that we are in contact with, there are things that we are doing, it is a new crime and requires new ways of approaching it and new ways of dousing it.
“Clearly it is under study. For instance, the issue of Train negotiators and so forth were not an issue before, but now we are looking into it, and we are putting our personnel to undergo such training and courses. So, we will not say hope is lost. We are still on it”.
The IGP also made a stunning revelation, saying some of the Chibok girls who have been put into family way and were rescued while wandering in the bush actually make moves to return to their captors.
He said, “The issue of Chibok girls you know, they are coming out one after another and gradually. Sometimes they come out and say yes, we have come to see our parents and we want to go back.
“So maybe they have been assimilated or acclimatized with the situation and being indoctrinated and had become part and parcel of those who have abducted them and so forth. But like as I’m saying, it is a continuous effort and even last month, you saw a Chibok girl coming out with two or three kids and said she only came to greet her parents and she wants to go back. So, we are still on it, there is hope”.