Boko Haram Negotiation: Government Officials Confused, Contradict Themselves

Boko Haram Negotiation: Government Officials Confused, Contradict Themselves

There has been a number of contradicting statements from senior government officials whether or not the Federal government will negotiate with Boko Haram for the release of the over 200 Chibok girls held in captivity.

Photo of some of the abducted schoolgirls

Ever since the release of the video clip where Boko Haram's leader, Shekau said he would release the girls in exchange for their detained members, the senate president David Mark, two ministers, and another senior official, have disagreed openly on the government’s line of action, whether they will accept the negotiation with Boko Haram or go ahead with the use of force, thereby raising concerns as to the ability of the government in resolving this issue.

Not too long after the video went viral, there were reports that the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro said the government would not accept the terrorists proposal to swap the kidnapped girls with the sect's detained members.

Also on Tuesday, Senate president David Mark corroborated Moro's statement that the government will never negotiate with Boko Haram, as doing so would provide confidence to the insurgents that they can cause even more havoc in Nigeria and walk away unpunished.

Contradicting both Mark and Moro, the special duties minister, Taminu Turaki, and the director general of the National Orientation Agency, Mike Omeri, hinted that the government may bow to Boko Haram's demand.

During an interview with BBC on Tuesday, Turaki said, the Federal Government has expressed readiness to negotiate with Boko Haram Islamist sect on the release of the girls.

Meanwhile, Mike Omeri, a ministry of information official was quoted as saying, “The government of Nigeria is considering all options towards freeing the girls and reuniting them with their parents,” implying negotiations and possibly the use of force against the kidnappers hadn’t been ruled out by government.

The conflicting claims by these top government officials between Monday when the video was released and Tuesday has raised concerns and more questions about whether the government has failed to put its own house in order even in the face of foreign assistance.

The Nigerian Military has however not hinted whether they would accept Boko Haram's proposal or not.


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