Buhari boasts of “Boko Haram negotiations’’

By Amako Nneji July 27, 2015 14:07

Buhari boasts of “Boko Haram negotiations’’

In the wake of the bombing allegedly carried out by a 10-year old female suicide bomber on Sunday in Damaturu the Yobe State capital, President Muhammahu Buhari has started negotiation with Boko Haram.

At least 19 people were killed and 47 others injured by the explosives carried by a girl, who detonated a bomb in a crowded market in the Nigerian city of Damaturu, police said.

Police spokesman Toyin Gbadegesin told the Reuters “a female of about 10 years old capitalised on the crowded entrance of the market where screening was being conducted and detonated the device.”

The Nation reports that some of President Buhari’s confidants and leaders of the sect group are pushing the negotiations.

According to a source that allegedly spoke to the Ahmed Tinubu owned daily; “the President’s appeal for peace in the Northeast is yielding dividends because a fresh facilitation of talks between the presidency and Boko Haram have 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. 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.”

Meanwhile, Buhari during his four-day working visit to the United States of America had told CNN’s Christine Amanpour his Government would negotiate with the terrorist sect if he is assured of the credibility of the leadership of the sect he will be negotiating with.

      “I cannot be against it (negotiating with Boko Haram). Our main objective is to secure those girls safe and sound, back to their parents and their schools to rehabilitate them to go back to normal life.

“If we are convinced that the leadership that presented itself can deliver those girls safe and sound, we will be prepared to negotiate for what they (Boko Haram) want.

“If we are sure of the leadership of Boko Haram, we can negotiate with them,” he had said.

See: Buhari finally settles for negotiating with Boko Haram

But there are strong indications that the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, is yet to be involved in the new deal.

      “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, “ another source said.

Hundreds of people have been killed in bombings and shootings across northern Nigeria since Buhari was inaugurated as president on May 29.

He has made a number of changes aimed at tackling the insurgency, including replacing his defence chiefs.

See: Buhari shakes up Military, 2 Borno indigenes amongst new Service Chiefs

Buhari moved Nigeria’s defence command centre to Maiduguri, the hotbed of Boko Haram, and has worked with counterparts in neighbouring countries to set up a multinational force with headquarters in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena.

The insurgents also attacked Buratai the home town of the new Chief of Army Staff who boasted to give the sect a run for their money.

He had barely finished making the statement, when the insurgents paid his home town a “visit” with multiple bomb blast.

According to a fleeing resident of the village, dead bodies littered the village of the new Chief of Army Staff while the attack was ongoing.

    “I cannot say how many were killed in the raid by Boko Haram because we left the town while they were still on it. I saw corpses and I saw the house of our former commissioner, Isa Buratai on fire. I don’t know about the people in the house, but about two corpses were seen along the way apart from many others that we saw,” Daily Post reported.

See: Boko Haram welcomes Buratai with Badeh treatment

Sunday’s attack in Damaturu occurred six days after a suicide bomber killed three policemen at a checkpoint on the city’s outskirts.

Earlier this month, at least nine people were killed in the city by a female suicide bomber as worshippers gathered to mark the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr.

The former Military President of Nigeria, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida had earler blamed Buhari for the increasing waves of insurgency in northern Nigeria, urging him to adopt a holistic approach in a way that the military will pound the enclaves of the sect day and night.

      “Events in the last four weeks have continued to raise our adrenaline, in a season of apprehension and utter suspicion, about our security engagements and the sum total of our collective sufferance as a nation.’’

“The heightened tension is occasioned by renewed hostilities and mindless bombings predominantly by suicide bombers who have decidedly chosen the option of death to life,’’ IBB had stated

See: Boko Haram: IBB blasts Buhari, military, others