Senior military sources have blamed the recent ransom paid to Boko Haram in exchange for the release of some Chibok girls for the recent upsurge in the killings and disappearances of soldiers engaged in the fight against the insurgents.
The military sources who craved anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for the military, attributed the recent upsurge in the activities of the insurgents to the huge ransom paid for the release of the girls.
The military sources 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 gathered that the insurgents demanded for $50m for the release of the girls but about a quarter of the sum was eventually paid by the FG.
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 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 initially denied the report, 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.
In October, 21 of the over 200 girls abducted from their school in Chibok, Borno State, in April 2014 were released by the group.
However, the Federal Government denied exchanging insurgents for the abducted girls and paying a ransom to the sect, but the military sources who spoke with The Punch, insisted that Boko Haram did not release the girls without getting anything in return and that the Federal Government indeed paid a ransom and released some of the group’s strategists that were detainees.