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We Are Tired Of Fighting, Boko Haram Tells Mediator, Gives Condition for Release of Chibok Girls

Valentine Chinyem

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The Executive Secretary of the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC), the group acting as the go-between for government and Boko Haram, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas, on Wednesday told Channels Television that he got a message from Boko Haram saying “they are tired of fighting and are ready for a quick deal to end the war”.

Air Commodore Anas said that although the insurgents are not asking for monetary compensation as a pre-condition for laying down their arms, they are seeking genuine commitment from government in the ongoing negotiations.

He further claimed that some Boko Haram elements had approached the CCC to help facilitate negotiations between them and the Federal Government sometime in August 2015.

He applauded the Federal Government’s willingness to dialogue with the genuine leaders of the terrorist group, adding that the CCC believes that the new position has become imperative in view of the fact that military option alone has failed to resolve the issue.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday confirmed that the Nigerian government has started negotiations with members of the Boko Haram sect, with the view to securing the release of the over 200 school girls kidnapped in Chibok, Borno State.

The President made the statement while responding to questions from members of the Nigerian community in France under the auspices of Nigerians in the Diaspora Organisation (NIDO).

He said his administration was worried by the continued stay of the girls in the hands of their captors and was working tirelessly to get them released, but that Boko Haram, has also given a condition for their release.

President Muhammadu who delivered a sensational statement when he spoke in Paris with members of the Nigerian community in France. Buhari disclosed that global attention had triggered negotiation.

President Buhari vowed not to release the developer of the sect’s explosive, which he said was posed as a condition for the girls’ release by insurgents.

“The issue of Chibok girls has occupied our minds and because of the international attention it drew and the sympathy through out the country and the world, the government is negotiating with some of the Boko Haram leadership.”

“It is a very sensitive development in the sense that first we have to establish, are they genuine leaders of the Boko Haram. That is number one. Number two, what are their terms, the first impression we had was not very encouraging.

“They wanted us to release one of their leaders who is a strategic person in developing and making IEDs that is causing a lot of havoc in the country by blowing people in churches, mosque, market places, motor parks and other places. But is very important that if we are going to talk to anybody, we have to know how much he is worth.

“Let them bring all the girls and then, we will be prepared to negotiate, I will allow them to come back to Nigeria or to be absolved in the community. We have to be very careful, the concern we have for the Chibok girls, one only imagine if they got a daughter there between 14 and 18 and for more than one and a half year, a lot of the parents who have died would rather see the graves of their daughters rather the condition they imagine they are in.”

“This has drawn a lot of sympathy though out the world, that is why this government is getting very hard in negotiating and getting the balance of those who are alive.”

Under the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan the terrorists and the government were said to have agreed on the swap of the sect’s key militants for the Chibok girls. There was no official confirmation of the story, however, it was reported that the swap deal had started but failed the very last moment.

Culled from Channels News & Vanguard