The Federal Government on Friday in Abuja revealed that the security agencies had thrice struck a chord to rescue the abducted Chibok girls.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this at a press conference to update the public on efforts of government to rescue the girls.
The Minister said the attempts were, however, stalled by a contact group and the division in the Boko Haram camp.
Mohammed reiterated the commitment of the government “to trace, locate and ensure the safe and successful release of the Chibok girls’’.
The minister said that in July 2015, a contact group was in touch with government with credible facts attesting to the fact that some of the girls were alive.
\He said the President was briefed and he gave his assent for further negotiations on their release.
“Precisely on July 17, 2015, the DSS opened negotiations process with the group holding the Chibok girls. However, in return for the release of some of these girls, the group also made some demands.
“These included the release of some of their fighters arrested including some involved in major terrorist actions, resulting in several fatalities, and others who were experts in manufacturing of locally assembled explosives.
“This was difficult to accept, but appropriate security agencies had to again inform Mr President of these demands, and its viewed implications.
“Again, Mr President gave his assent believing that the overall release of these girls remains paramount and sacrosanct,’’ he said.
Mohammed said the government and the security agencies worked out the modalities of the swap which included creating the safe haven, or necessary place of swap and working out the logistic details.
He said it was finally agreed by all parties that the first step for the swap would commence on August 1, 2015