By Chidi Samuel
The federal has expressed its readiness to enter into negotiation with Boko Haram for the possible release of the Chibok girls who were abducted by the terror group from Government girls secondary school, chibok in 2014. The negotiation will include exchanging the girls with some high profile Hoko Haram sect members currently in detention in many detention facilities across the country. The government will however commence negotiations on the girls with only the authentic leaders of the group who are free to make contact with the federal government of Nigeria through any internationally recognized Non – Governmental organization they chose.
President Buhari made this position known while granting press interview on the sidelines of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on Africa holding in Nairobi, Kenya. In a statement issued by Mallam Garuba Shehu, the senior special assistant to president on media and publicity, the President said that his administration was ready to dialogue with authentic leaders of the sect who can convince the government that are the ones holding the girls.
He said, “I have made a couple of comments on the Chibok girls and it seems to me that much of it has been politicised.
“What we said is that the government which I preside over is prepared to talk to bona fide leaders of Boko Haram.
“If they do not want to talk to us directly, let them pick an internationally recognised Non-Governmental Organisation, convince them that they are holding the girls and that they want Nigeria to release a number of Boko Haram leaders in detention, which they are supposed to know.
“If they do it through the ‘modified leadership’ of Boko Haram and they talk with an internationally recognised NGO, then Nigeria will be prepared to discuss for their release.
“We want those girls out and safe. The faster we can recover them and hand them over to their parents, the better for us,” he said.
President Buhari in addition, confirmed the recent reported division in the ranks of the sect as well as the injury believe to have been sustained by Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the group.
The President said, “Some of the information about the division in Boko Haram is already in the press and I have read in the papers about the conflict in their leadership.
“The person known in Nigeria as their leader, we understand was edged out and the Nigerian members of Boko Haram started turning themselves to the Nigerian military.
“We learnt that in an air strike by the Nigeria Air Force he was wounded. Indeed their top hierarchy and lower cadre have a problem and we know this because when we came into power, they were holding 14 out of the 774 local governments in Nigeria. But now they are not holding any territory and they have split to small groups attacking soft targets.”