The Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) has noted that the recent pronouncement by President Muhammadu Buhari that some members of the Boko Haram terrorist group are in negotiation with the federal government has validated its earlier revelation.
The Executive Secretary of CCC, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (rtd), in a statement on Wednesday, said President Buhari’s revelation had validated their claim that Boko Haram had reached out to the federal government over the possibility of releasing the Chibok Secondary Schoolgirls abducted on April 14, 2014.
Anas recalled that while briefing journalists on August 4, 2015, he disclosed that some Boko Haram elements approached the centre for dialogue as a way of ending the seeming intractable insurgency in parts of the country.
While expressing support for the declaration by the president that the federal government was willing to dialogue with genuine leaders of the terrorist group, the CCC boss noted that the new position had become imperative in view of the fact that military option alone has failed to resolve the issue.
According to him, the centre believes that there is nothing wrong in exploring and exploiting every opportunity that will lead to freeing of not only the innocent school girls but every other Nigerian under shackles of the deadly insurgents.
“As we stated on August 4, 2015 on this matter, which was widely and extensively published by the media, every window of dialogue should be open but only for genuine leaders or representatives of the sect who are committed to keeping to their side of the bargain.
“We urge both parties to approach the said negotiation with open minds and with utmost consideration of the interest of humanity,” he said.
Anas asked members of the public for continued trust and support to the president “even when he has to take tough decisions such as this, knowing that what is upper most in his mind and in our minds is the freedom of our girls and all other captives.”
He said the centre views the last call for negotiation as good gesture that has opened a window of opportunity for dialogue for those insurgents that are willing and ready to lay down their arms. This position, he added, is predicated on calls made to this centre by some members of the Boko Haram requesting for genuine and comprehensive dialogue that could lead to hundreds of them coming out to renounce their membership.
“We want to note that none of the suspected Boko Haram elements that spoke with the CCC asked for any form of monetary inducement or compensation as a pre-condition for laying down their arms. In fact, many of them said that they were simply tired of fighting and being fugitives in a war that they were deceived into joining,” Anas said.
Nevertheless, he stressed, the centre will continue to support and encourage all efforts towards bringing insurgency to an end in our country.
Source: This DayThis Day