Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan Wouldn't Trade Kidnapped Schoolgirls For Prisoners

Nigeria apparently had a chance to #BringBackOurGirls last week, but decided not to take it, according to a source cited in an Associated Press report. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan refused a deal to trade the kidnapped girls for imprisoned extremists. Now, the country's leaders are torn over how best to get the young women back without risking their lives, the report suggested.

Jonathan is reportedly saying he won't negotiate with Boko Haram, a group that's been terrorizing Nigeria. Meanwhile, Jonathan's government figured out a deal that Boko Haram would accept. But Jonathan's not biting, according to Pogu Bitrus of Chibok, the town from which the girls were stolen, who spoke with the AP.

The pressure is there if his own lieutenants are saying one (thing). Because if they cannot use force, the deduction is that there must be negotiation. And if their commander-in-chief, the president, is saying that he will not negotiate, then they are not on the same page.

On Monday, the country's defense chief, Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh, said the Nigerian military knows where the girls are but can't attempt a rescue.

The good news for the parents is that we know where they are, but we cannot tell you. ... We can’t kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back.
Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Boko Haram continues to terrorize Nigeria. On Monday, the group reportedly killed 31 security forces near where they killed 59 boys at a school in February. After that attack, most of the schools in the area were closed, with the exception of an all-girls' school in Chibok, Nigeria, that opened up to allow its pupils to take exams.

Boko Haram kidnapped the young women from their school on April 14, and they've been missing ever since.