Members of the factional Boko Haram sect, who kidnapped Leah Sharibu alongside no fewer than 109 students in Dapchi, Yobe State, early this year, have demanded N100bn ransom before the girl could be released, a diplomatic source told SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday.
The source, which claimed to be involved in the negotiation for the release of the schoolgirl, said there were fears that if given the money, the terrorists could use the cash to acquire weapons with which they would unleash terror on innocent Nigerians in the future.
PUNCH correspondents gathered that the government was, however, considering the other implications of giving such huge sum of money to the terrorists.
The diplomatic sources argue that giving such huge sum of money to the terrorist organisation could also negatively affect national security ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The source said, “It is not that the government of Nigeria is not making efforts at getting Leah Sharibu out of the grips of the Boko Haram.
“But we are aware that the terrorist organisation holding her is demanding N100bn. Though no amount is too much to get the soul of one innocent person out of danger, I think the government of Nigeria is considering many things.
“We all know that elections are ahead and that the terrorist organisation may also be planning to embark on inflicting damage on the people; government has to be careful and also be diplomatic about it.
“We are pleading that members of the Boko Haram sect be considerate in their demands as well. They should please release the girl to her parents.”