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Borno Governor: Deal with devil if it means getting back kidnapped girls

May 15th, 2014
04:18 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The governor of Nigeria’s Borno State, where nearly 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday that the government should negotiate with Boko Haram – make a deal “with the devil” – if it means bringing the girls back.

“The issue of not negotiation, of not negotiating with the terrorists – it’s out of the question,” Kashim Shettima said. “If it means talking to the devil, it mean the devil can come down, we can get back our girls.”

Boko Haram, the group that kidnapped the girls, “are a bunch of raving lunatics,” Shettima said.

A month has passed since the girls were kidnapped, and the Nigerian government has been accused of not acting swiftly or efficiently enough to protect villages in the region threatened by Boko Haram.

Sharon Ikeazor, a member of Nigeria’s opposition, told Amanpour that “most of the girls in school had their cell phones” when they were kidnapped.

“They had contacted their parents,” she said. “So they knew when the attack was happening, and the villagers around had reported to the military.”

The government, she said, “could have saved those girls.”

Click below to watch Amanpour’s full conversation with Shettima and Ikeazor.

Opposition speaks on Nigeria's nightmare


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Nigeria
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Chukwuemerie Uduchukwu

    This man must be insane. How can he suggest that government should (beg) negotiate with blood hungry wolves that have earlier warned that they don't accept dialogue with government which the sect described as infidels.

    This man his cabal must be trying to eat from this whole issue.

    The terrorists should be tracked down and and the girls freed safely. All these people talking about negotiations with terrorists should undergo psychological fitness test and be investigated and there should be no sacred cow.

    The international community should not be distracted by this senseless statements of the Borno governor and their cabals.

    May 15, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • Guru Salty

      You think the girls will be somewhere waiting to be rescued? If bullets fly do you think the girls will be safe? How came you make negotiations sound like such a bad idea?

      May 15, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Reply
      • Ariel

        Do you trust Boko Haram? Do you seriously believe they will hold their side of any bargain? These guys make Hitler look like "normal".

        May 15, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
  2. Chukwuemerie Uduchukwu

    This man must be insane. How can he suggest that government should (beg) negotiate with blood hungry wolves that have earlier warned that they don't accept dialogue with government which the sect described as infidels.

    This man and their cabals must be trying to eat from this whole issue.

    The terrorists should be tracked down and and the girls freed safely. All these people talking about negotiations with terrorists should undergo psychological fitness test and be investigated and there should be no sacred cow.

    The international community should not be distracted by this senseless statements of the Borno governor and their cabals.

    May 15, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  3. westentertainmentrecords

    Never deal with the devil,, never,, it is better to take your lost than to deal with the devil
    If you deal with the devil you shall loose twice or more

    This Governor needs to be expelled his not fit for his position.. His probably a BH sponsor..
    The Chief of police of that State and all responsible for the State security should be expelled..
    All incompetents of their jobs should be fire and replaced with motivated citizens
    Playing dirty games with the lives of your on Statesmen should not be tolerated all becoz of Islamic State
    These Muslims are not worthy of being real Muslims

    May 15, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  4. Peter Skinner

    How about this...negotiate the release of the girls by liberating BH prisoners,plant microchip or other devices to track them down,then send the Alphas and theRomeos and killed all of them at once...end of the story. This can be done...it is not impossible. No one available...call the Israelites,they would do it. There is no way to get allthese girls alive by just going in firing...maybe a few but we want all and well not killed byfriendly fire.

    May 15, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Reply
    • Ariel

      Not impossible indeed but I doubt it would work (hint: Nigeria's armed forces are infiltrated by Muslims and Boko Haram admirers).

      May 15, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Reply
    • Pat

      If we were to adopt your plan 'B', the so called human rights and amnesty International bodies will charge Nigeria with human rights abuse offences. Have you not heard what the two bodies (who to me are tacit supporters of the heinous crimes being perpetrated by this blood-sucking group) are presently accusing Nigerian Military for?

      May 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  5. lilian

    if the government commits itself to eliminating these lunatics instead of his political carrer,i believe it equally earn him the politica tickest he wishes for.you can only lead the living not the dead:remember a child is the father of a man.

    May 16, 2014 at 4:08 am | Reply
  6. Jonathan Onche Edeh

    The problem with Nigerians, is that they talk too much, and in talking too much they show themselves as not having a grasp of the issues on ground. It is sad when people react on impulse; it is sad when people here and outside fail to see what terrorism is all about: in most cases when one looks or observes the chain of command involve in it, you had be dumbfounded at how it is bigger than a nation, and the real players of terrorism. Let's say for instance, get the pillars of the terror group bulldozed out of the way, and at that point every terrorist act against a nation or people becomes crippled or obsolete, but the question is how do you find the pillars? IF I WERE THE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA, IN A COUNTRY WHERE I HAVE GROWN UP AND DO KNOW THAT ONLY A SYSTEM OF AUTOCRATICDEMOCRACY WILL MAKE THINGS WORK, IN 7 DAYS I WILL FIX THIS MESS.....Just give me a try, and even the WEST, EUROPE OR ASIA will know they have a force to content with here.....we are not daft as they think we are......so Borno State Governor, shut the hell up

    May 16, 2014 at 6:53 am | Reply
    • Jonathan Onche Edeh

      Sorry, I meant A FORCE TO CONTEND WITH....

      May 16, 2014 at 6:56 am | Reply
  7. Toppies Van Vuuren

    All options should be on the table. Prayer is a powerfull tool, believers know that. Please non-believers don't bother to negate me. Let us pray for the Girls and the Leaders of Boko Haram for the safe return of the Girls. It is high time Boko Haram is infiltrated, by a Muslim/s who is/are against their madness. Remember there are many. Microchip them. Send someone to put something that can be tracked on their Leader who proclaims to sell Women. And please use highly trained professionals who can operate tactically, not military who believe in brute force and are prone to being disoreinted by adreneline

    May 16, 2014 at 7:33 am | Reply
  8. Chelly Nnakwe

    It hurts when people talk about boko haram with personal or religious bias.
    Mrs. Amanpour, have you not read a communiqué by boko haram to our president asking him to step down because he is a Christian?
    Boko haram's agenda is to islamise Nigeria and most people including Gov Shettima and even the US seems to be denying that. Now people are venting on military inaction but when the president wanted to move for a state-of-emergency, some of those northern politicians protested and opted for dialogue alone with terrorists likening boko haram with Niger-felt an militants that were fighting a just cause against oil spillage, environmental adverse exploitation, etc.
    For the records, "boko haram" means "western education is harmful" exactly d same ideology with d fanatics that shot Malala.
    I am not holding brief for the President because he has not fought corruption like we expected. However, some politicians vowed to make Nigeria ungovernable for him. The President has given room for the criticism, no doubt but he is trying. We Christians has suffered against severe onslaught in the hands of these fanatics since the past six years but no one has cried foul.
    Gov Shettima was saying the cause of the insurgence was poverty, illiteracy or social. I strongly disagree with him because some of the arrested insurgents are graduates but religious fanatics. Poor but handle weapons worth millions of dollars? I doubt. If I'm poor and have such weaponry, I'd rather attack a bank not innocent school kids. The only reason they attacked those girls because want them out of school. How can someone who is agitating against a "corrupt govt" like some people might allude, kill scores of fellow countrymen?
    We better begin to reason out well before its too late.
    I am not saying all Muslims are evil. Never!!!! But the fanatics are and they kill any good Muslim trying to counter them.

    May 16, 2014 at 8:08 am | Reply
  9. Cornelius

    FIRST OF ALL, LET NOBODY DECEIVE YOU. BCOS IF YOU ACCUSE THE PRESIDENT OF NOT ACTING ON TIME ON THIS ISSUE, THEN YOU BEING THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE, WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION. WE IN NIGERIA KNOW THAT YOU NORTHERNS ARE D SPONSORS,(the northerns believes they should be in power, they believe since former president yaradua died a northerner should occupy the post not jonathan who is a minority) WE HAVE FRIENDS IN THE MILITARY WHO TOLD US THAT EVEN military PERSONNEL WHO ARE MUSLIMS ARE BOKO HARAM MEMBERS, DURING OPERATIONS THEY EITHER SABOTAGE OPERATION OR THEY SHOOT AT SOLDIERS WHO ARE KEEN OF FIGHTING THE ENEMY.....NOW YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT DEALING WITH THE DEVIL....YOUR STATEMENT BETRAYS YOU. IT'S SIMILAR TO WHAT SHEKAU IS DEMANDING, THAT IS TO EXCHANGE THE GIRLS FOR THEIR CAPTURED MEMBERS.....THAT WAS HOW A SENATOR CAME TO THE HOUSE OF SENATE TO SAY THAT BOKO HARAM ARE SELLING THOSE GIRLS BEFORE EVEN SHEKAU MADE A VIDEO....THAT GOES A LONG WAY TO EXPOSE YOUR PROPAGANDA AND CONSPIRACY.. WE ARE NOT FOOLS.

    May 16, 2014 at 8:13 am | Reply
  10. tunde

    So far the Nigerian government is trying its best, especially with international scrutiny. But I disagree with the governor's option of negotiating with terrorists. A good strategist will never do that nor mention that, especially on international media.

    May 16, 2014 at 8:21 am | Reply
  11. wanrooij

    an article on the social background of Boko Haram
    http://www.worldissues360.com/index.php/boko-haram-nigeria-and-the-west-92787/

    May 16, 2014 at 9:39 am | Reply
  12. idris mohd

    Make comment of ur likes and dislikes... Bt the fact always remain the same... U ll never understand due sentiment and all bla bla comment ll never bring change... Bt we pple see the reality and the soldier goes out to the field... Imagine a soldier running with civilian shoulder to shoulder while civilian jtf with matchet tryin to fight back... What do u call this?

    May 16, 2014 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  13. Tot

    Talk, talk, talk, talk, and MORE talk, talk, talk, talk and YET MORE talk, talk, talk, talk and NO ACTION!!!

    May 16, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  14. acrabahyiouspe

    I think the hash tag should be changed to #eliminatebokoharam.

    May 16, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  15. Jay

    Rule 303

    May 16, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  16. angela

    Girls with cell phone? Did they not say phone lines were cut off as part of the state of emergency in Bornu state?
    For reminders, Mrs. Ikeazor belongs to the opposition party! Politics indeed is a dirty game.
    May God help the poor girls that are caught in between.

    May 17, 2014 at 12:01 am | Reply
  17. angela

    I am not a politician but let's not forget that most Nigerian Presidents were from the Northern Nigeria. Most of them ruled during the Nigerian oil boom. What legacies did they leave? So Northern Nigeria just became impoverished? Federal revenue is shared among states does it mean Northern Nigeria do not get their own share? South eastern Nigeria fought a civil war and were almost exterminated by Northerners, lost their lives and properties before, during and after the civil war. Why is Shettima talking of poverty in the North Eastern Nigeria? His people were offered free nomadic education when my family paid heavily for my education .What did they do with it? Mr. Shettima, how many times have your people destroyed lives and property of Igbos living in your part of country for no just cause? Now you are complaining of poverty. What disaster have your people gone through? ISLAM, CULTURE AND POLIGAMY ARE YOUR PROBLEMS. TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR LIFE STYLES! YOUR PEOPLE HAVE NOT GONE THROUGH HALF THE THINGS IGBOS HAVE GONE THROUGH IN NIGERIA AND YOU KNOW IT. FOR STARTERS, EMANCIPATE YOUR WOMEN.IT TAKES A WOMAN TO BUILD A COMMUINTY.As for Mrs. Ikeazor, I see you want to win by all means.

    May 17, 2014 at 12:37 am | Reply
  18. jsa

    ALL WE ARE SAYING IS THAT, LET NOT THESE GIRLS BE HURT. THEY SHOULD BE BROUGHT BACK A LIVE TO THEIR PARENTS. BORNO STATE GOVT. AND FEDERAL GOVT. PLEASE DO NOT PLAY POLITICS WITH OUR CHILDREN'S LIVES. JONATHAN WHO HAPPENS TO BE THE PRESIDENT WILL FEEL THE MOST CONSEQUENCE IF ANYTHING BAD HAPPENS TO THESE GIRLS. PLEASE HELP THE POOR PARENTS AND GET BACK THE GIRLS. POLITICIANS! PLEASE, SAVE THIS COUNTRY FROM TOTAL DESTRUCTION. ARE WE NOT ASHAMED? THAT FOREIGNERS ARE CALLING OUR PRESIDENTS ALL MANNER OF NAMES AND WE ARE HERE TALKING AS IF NO BLOOD IS RUNNING IN US? WHAT IS WRONG WITH NEGOTIATING WITH THE DEVIL TO COLLECT WHAT RIGHTLY BELONGS TO ME? WE ARE NOT HELPING THESE LITTLE GIRLS. GOD WILL NOT FORGIVE US IF ANYTHING BAD HAPPENS TO THESE GIRLS MORE THAN WHAT HAS HAPPENED SO FAR. ENOUGH OF ALL THESE POLITICS. GOD SAVE US. WESTERN EDUCATION IS EVIL AND YET OSAMA BIN LADIN HAD MASTERS DEGREE IN ...... I ALSO READ THAT OGUCHE ATTENDED A BRITISH UNIVERSITY; YET WESTERN EDUCATION IS EVIL. WHAT A CONTRADICTION? GOD HELP ME FROM THESE OTHER CREATURES OF YOURS! THANK YOU ALL.

    May 17, 2014 at 10:11 am | Reply
  19. thomas ukwute

    I wonder why you did not ask Mr. Shettima of why he refused the advise by the federal ministry of education and the west african examination council to evacuate the girls to write their exams in safer place and why did he then asked them to evacuate the rest after the incident if he is not a part of and aware of the intention of this evil people? If there is anyone playing politics with these girls he is. What did he do as the governor of the state?

    May 17, 2014 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  20. Anass

    Ohhh the world is not fair. Why can CNN show a girl telling us she was a victim of boko haram. Is not true and every body knows it. A girl at borno in 2011 authoring such English. Why do the media doing this. This girl is not from Nigeria. I mean the young girl who said boko haram shot her brother and father and all lies. And even if she is. Not from 2011. It sounds like a game behind boko haram and some people. GOD IS THE BEAT JUDGE

    May 21, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Reply

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