|Nigeria's Vice President, Yemi Osibajo and his wife, received the released 21 Chibok Girls in Abuja|
Of the roughly 197 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls who still are unaccounted for after Boko Haram militants kidnapped them in Borno State two years ago, about 114 have either died, been married off, or become radicalised and don’t want to leave their Boko Haram kidnappers, sources have said.
Only 83 will be negotiated for when the the Nigerian government resumes talks next week for their release, two sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations told CNN.
Dawn, dusk, almost a 1000 days.— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo) October 13, 2016
Twenty-one of our girls are back.
It is my joy to welcome you home.
The nation has been waiting for you. pic.twitter.com/iNummDG8rU
Negotiations between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government over the captives are expected to resume Monday, four days after the militant group handed over 21 former Chibok schoolgirls to authorities in northeastern Nigeria.
Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls and women, ages 16 to 18, in the middle of the night at a boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria, in April 2014, drawing global outrage. As many as 57 girls escaped almost immediately in 2014, and one was found months ago.
If the sources are correct about the number of dead or otherwise unavailable, that would mean more than 40 per cent of those who were kidnapped in 2014 stand no chance of being brought home alive or no obvious immediate chance of being retrieved through negotiation.
The Nigerian government has not publicly and specifically addressed the issue of money.
According to Vanguard:
A source close to the negotiations confided in Sunday Vanguard that unlike the 21 girls, who were freed by the sect, last Thursday, to test government’s level of commitment and sincerity, the release of the remaining girls may be based strictly on ransom payment and freedom for no fewer than 16 of Boko Haram commanders by the government.
The government, it was learnt, was eager to get the remaining 83 girls, reportedly held by a top leader of the sect in an undisclosed location in the North East. Of the 219 girls still missing, a source said that only 104 were left in the captivity of the sect while the rest had long been married off by top commanders and converted to Islam.
“The truth is that those Chibok girls are now Boko Haram members, having married the sect members and become radicalised,” the source said. “The remaining 83 girls are with a top leader of Boko Haram and those are the only ones we are going to work for their release in the next phase of our negotiations which starts immediately".
The others had since become Boko Haram members, having been married off and radicalised into Boko Haram as soon as they were captured over two years ago”.
But Sunday Vanguard learnt that the representatives of the sect, who are meeting with a Federal Government team, might insist on payment upfront of huge cash by government before freeing the captives. “I think the guys are settled on the idea that the cash must come ahead of the release since they had proved to government that they are reliable by releasing the 21 girls, last week, without many conditions attached”, the source stated.
Asked if the sect leaders were unsure of government’s sincerity to keep its own side of the bargain, the source said that the representatives of Boko Haram had also shown that they have confidence in government. It was learnt that the lingering challenge in getting back all the girls arose from the fact that while some of them are with a faction loyal to Benawhi, the rest are being kept by the group loyal to Abubakar Shekau. But one of the negotiators believed the remaining 83 girls would be freed if a meaningful deal is struck between the sect and the Federal Government.