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Chibok Girls: FG To Negotiate With Boko Haram

Oyewale Oyelola

Contrary to initial rejection of Federal government of Nigeria not to negotiate with Boko Haram terrorist group on release of  over 200 girls of government secondary school, Chibok, abducted by the sect last month, feelers from the presidency shows that the government might negotiate with the group to ensure release of the girls.

Puported-video-of-kidnapped-Nigerian-girls-jpgNigeria’s government has said it is ready to hold talks with Boko Haram to secure the release of more than 200 girls abducted from their school last month.

Minister of Special Duties, Taminu Turaki was quoted by AFP as saying  “The window of negotiation is still open. We are willing to carry that dialogue on any issue, including the girls kidnapped in Chibok, because certainly we are not going to say that [the abduction] is not an issue”

Turaki last year headed a committee pursuing an amnesty pact with some Boko Haram fighters added that “Nigeria has always been willing to dialogue with the insurgents.”

Turaki’s statement came a day after the Boko Haram released a video in which its leader Abubakar Shekau said the girls abducted last month would be released once Nigeria freed all the Boko Haram prisoners it had in custody, adding that the christian among the girls have been converted to muslim.

Shekau confirmed his assertion as the girls dressed in Muslim Hijab recited Quran stating the Allah is great while two of girls in interview granted during the seventeen minutes video renounced christianity and embraced Islam. The girls noted that islam is the sure way to God and urged their people at home to embraced Muslim religion also.

The government however rejected the proposal, saying Federal Government would not negotiate with terrorist group but assured Nigerians  of commitment of all stakeholders to ensure the girls return back home safely.

Meanwhile, Former President, National Council For Women society, Ramatu Bala Usman has condemned Boko haram leader, Abubakar Shekau claim of converting christian girls to Muslim.

“The Video is a way of bringing religion crisis by converting the girls to Muslim forcefully. Shekau is trying to Islamise Nigeria. Everybody is entitle to their religion. You cannot force your religion on others.” She said.

She expressed confidence in the coalition of foreign countries including to assist Nigeria in the rescue operation, noting that foreign nations will bring sophisticated tracking gadgets and experts to help in the search operation.

Ramatu however urged parents of the abducted girls to volunteer information on how to get their children.

She warned Security operatives not to disclose this strategy in the media and advised them to always keep security matters secret.


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