How President Muhammadu Buhari Plans to Negotiate With Boko Haram
Following the initial negotiations between President Muhammadu Buhari and some Boko Haram leaders the hopes of rescue more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls has been renewed.
The Nation reports that some advisors of presidency have been brokered a new agreement.
Some key Boko Haram leaders in custody are also ready to be part of the initiative.
Buhari’s “peace agenda” has motivated 500 Boko Haram militants in a neighboring country to show interest in rejecting terrorism.
However, Buhari is being careful in rushing with the fresh deal to avert what a source defined as the “costly mistakes of the past administration of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan.”
Buhari has called on security agents to “screen or certify” those heading the new talks to ensure that the government is dealing with the right Boko Haram leaders.
Some Boko Haram commanders are considered to have been overcome by the president’s olive branch.
It was gathered that Buhari’s reconciliatory program made some confidants of the group to start a new negotiation between the government and some Boko Haram leaders.
It was gathered that at the initial level, a “cautious understanding” has been stalled by both parties.
Some mileage enlarged so far include the next:
- likely release of some Chibok girls to underline the readiness of Boko Haram for negotiation;
- involvement of some Boko Haram commanders, on whom the United States government placed ransom, in the peace agreement;
- commitment of the Buhari government to the talks.
A source, who wants not to be named, said: “The President’s appeal for peace in the Northeast is yielding dividends because a fresh facilitation of talks between the Presidency and Boko Haram has started.
“This latest negotiation, which is at the preliminary stage, is being promoted by some mutual confidants of the Presidency and Boko Haram.
“The new deal may lead to the release of some Chibok girls to set the tone for a comprehensive negotiation by both sides.”
“The President is extremely cautious on this offer of negotiation,” the source added.
“Buhari has ordered security agencies to screen or certify those Boko Haram commanders interested in facilitating this latest negotiation to ensure that they are bonafide leaders of the sect.
“The position of the President is that why he is not averse to a peace deal, the Federal Government must avoid the costly mistakes of the past which led to a waste of time and huge resources.
“The President wants the release of the Chibok girls and quick restoration of peace to the Northeast; he is ready to negotiate with the right people for sustainable results.”
But there are strong signs that the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, is yet to be engaged in the new agreement.
Another source added: “I think we are still at the preliminary stage. At the right time, there is a way the negotiation offer will be forwarded to their leader.
“But the fact that some Boko Haram commanders, whom US placed ransom upon, might be part of the negotiation shows that the crisis can be resolved, if all hands are on deck.“
On his own turn Garba Shehu, the presidential aide, said: “If the President gets the right partners in doing a deal, he will consider a peaceful resolution. He has said that unambiguously in the course of the visit to the U.S. If that doesn’t work out, the President has the will and willingness to crush terror using the army.”
It should be also noted that the defunct Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Northeast put ransom on 19 leaders of Boko Haram.
With Mohammed Zangina, who was supposedly killed, out, those still wanted are four members of the Shurra Committee of the sect are:
Imam Abubakar Shekau (N50million)
Habibu Yusuf (a.k.a Asalafi) N25million
Khalid Albarnawai (N25million)
Momodu Bama (N25 million)
The Boko Haram Commanders being sought for by the JTF are
Abu Saad (N10million)
Abba Kaka (N10million)
Abdulmalik Bama (N10million)
Alhaji Mustapha (Massa)
Abubakar Suleiman-Habu (a.k.a Khalid) N10million
Hassan Jazair N10million
Ali Jalingo (N10million)
Alhaji Musa Modu (N10million)
Bashir Aketa (N10million)
Abba Goroma (N10million)
Ibrahim Bashir (N10million)
Abubakar Zakariya (N10million)
Tukur Ahmed Mohammed (N10million)
The last ceasefire deal between Boko Haram and Jonathan’s administration in October 2014 has failed when the insurgents denied that they had agreed to a ceasefire with the Nigerian government.
Negotiations with Boko Haram in recent years have failed to achieve a peace deal, partly because it has several rival factions.