Vocal civil liberty activist, Senator Shehu Sani, drafted the master plan for the negotiation and facilitated the involvement of Switzerland in the talks as well as Red Cross International in transporting the girls to safety, he revealed on a chat with The Nation.
His words: “I believe that this government has achieved what has never been achieved and there I have the confidence that the other girls will also be released through the same process that was taken for these ones to be released.
“The confidence has been built on both sides and the parties have agreed to do more. I can tell you that there was no prisoner swap. There was none. I was the one who drafted the master plan for the negotiation.
“I was also the one who invited the Swiss and the RCRC into it, and I was also the one who linked the Swiss with the person who negotiated, who happened to be Mustapha Zanna, a lawyer in Maiduguri.
“I was the one who brought Mustapha Zanna in with Switzerland and the Red Cross. So this effort, this success, could be said to be the joint effort of Mustapha Zanna, Switzerland , Red Cross and the Department of State Security (DSS).
“The reason for bringing Swiss into it was because we needed to have a different country that would offer guarantee to both the insurgents and the government because previous talks crashed because there was lack of trust.
“But now, we needed a country that would offer guarantee to both sides. Switzerland offered to assist after I had encountered fellows from some of the countries which we had contacted.
Swiss offered to facilitate the negotiation and I linked them up to the negotiator and the master plan was for the government and the insurgents to negotiate.”