Exclusive:Anxiety Trails FG’s Ceasefire Talks with Boko Haram in Saudi Arabia



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By Danlami Nmodu

Reports reaching Newsdiaryonline.com suggest that members of Boko Haram have indeed  attended a meeting in Saudi Arabia with the aim of  ending  the insurgency in Nigeria.Sources said the Kano-based  cleric and politician, Dr Datti Ahmed and National Security Adviser ,Sambo Dasuki were  also at the Saudi Arabia meeting with Boko Haram.

Insiders said  the FG delegation may have  succeeded in extracting  a commitment towards  ceasefire from the group.But Boko Haram, it was learnt ,gave three conditions for a truce:

One is that all their members should be released from detention.Second is that the federal government should compensate them  and rebuild  their mosques that have been destroyed.Third , Boko Haram insisted that the killers of Mohammed Yusuf should be prosecuted.It was not immediately clear if there were other conditions to be met.

It was further said that if all these conditions are met the group may consider   ceasefire within a week or so. ”They may agree on a ceasefire all things being equal”, a source said.

Newsdiaryonline.com however learnt that while some are hopeful that this agreement may work, others are very skeptical

Some hardliners  in the presidency have already dismissed these  talks with Boko Haram .There is little basis for hope yet said counter terrorism experts because  that there are actually three strands of the Boko Haram sect.There is  the Ideological Boko Haram; the criminal group and the political group.Experts  are also  arguing that the real backbone of   Boko Haram has been significantly degraded,and what is left now may be rudderless foot soldiers .It is this  kind of analysis of the situation that is making some presidency sources not to feel enthusiastic about the agreement reached at the Saudi Arabia meeting. Not everyone in the government is enthusiastic about these latest talks,s aource said.

It was also learnt that there has been lingering doubts about the role of Datti Ahmed, some presidency officials do not seem quite convinced that he has  real contact with the  people who matter in Boko Haram .That is why some officials are taking the Saudi Arabia meeting  with a pinch of salt.There is hostility towards Ahmed,a source said. Many  within official circles  find it difficult to understand a politician could be a cleric rolled into one.But Datti  Ahmed had in recent past openly explained his role in the media stating how he got in touch with Boko Haram through a journalist the group has confidence in.

Newsdiaryonline.com also  learnt that there are signs of unease with the new NSA’s approach towards tackling the insurgency.Officials have however declined to give details. “All I can say is that Sambo Dasuki may soon run into problem with the government”.Though the source  failed to give details ,  experts are watching the unfolding drama with bated breath.

It could not be immediately confirmed whether the divergent views on the seeming progress being made  is a reflection of the legendary inter- agency feud that has trailed the efforts at checkmating this crisis all along.President Jonathan has been vowing to end the insurgency ,though critics say the crisis has festered for too long, giving room to some avoidable complications.

For Nigerians who have been victims of the insurgency,  many  are  hoping   that somehow, the insurgency should   end  as soon as possible .

 


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