The controversy over alleged sponsors of Boko Haram took a twist yesterday when Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka said information about a suspected financier of the terror group within the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was passed to President Goodluck Jonathan.
Soyinka also said he worked “in the background” with Australian negotiator Stephen Davis during the Niger Delta militancy crisis, and warned against dismissing his claims on those allegedly sponsoring Boko Haram.
The Nobel Laureate spoke on a day a source familiar with Boko Haram revealed that some of the school girls captured by the Islamist group in Chibok, Borno State, in April, might have been raped to death.
In a statement by Soyinka titled, The wages of impunity, he was appalled by government’s treatment of people linked with the Islamist group with kid gloves.
Soyinka said: “Finally, Stephen Davis also mentioned a Boko Haram financier within the Nigerian Central Bank. Independently we are able to give backing to that claim, even to the extent of naming the individual. In the process of our enquiries, we solicited the help of a foreign embassy whose government, we learnt, was actually on the same trail, thanks to its independent investigation into some money laundering that involved the Central Bank.
“That name, we confidently learnt, has also been passed on to President Jonathan. When he is ready to abandon his accommodating policy towards the implicated, even the criminalized, an attitude that owes so much to re-election desperation, when he moves from a passive `letting the law to take its course’ to galvanizing the law to take its course, we shall gladly supply that name”.
Meanwhile, a source involved in efforts to free the abducted Chibok girls told Sunday Vanguard, in an exclusive interview, yesterday, that some of the victims, who could not withstand routine raping by the terrorists, passed on in the early days of their capture.
The source explained that it was unfortunate that many of the girls would never be reunited with their parents and loved ones because they were no more, contrary to the belief that they were being held up in Sambisa Forest.
He said that the insurgents had also taken more boys and girls than was being estimated, saying that most of the captives were seized unannounced by the terrorists.
The source, a negotiator, said that contrary to the claim in some quarters that President Jonathan had not done enough to secure the release of the surviving girls, it was actually Nigerians who were frustrating the release of the girls.
The source accused some Nigerian middlemen, who were using their proximity to some of the insurgents, to trade with government over the release of the girls.
According to the source, many of the negotiators were more interested in making quick gains from government than seeing to the freedom of the children.
“Throughout our effort to free the girls, many of the middlemen were simply playing games for their pecuniary interests. They would come now and tell you that they have some of the girls and, when you fix a date and time for them, they would never show up again,” the negotiator revealed.
“The main problem in the rescue effort is that most of the middlemen involved are not sincere and are just looking for money.
“What is happening to the girls is painful because efforts to get them out have not yielded any positive result five months after they were abducted by their captors.