bokoKano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has expressed reservations on the Federal Government’s current moves to negotiate with the leadership of Boko Haram, noting that the negotiation may not be with the genuine faction of the sect.
“I hope when we negotiate with them, we are negotiating with the correct people. Experience has shown that they have so many factions and if we are not lucky, we may be dealing with the wrong faction,” he said while responding to questions at the State House Abuja, yesterday.
The governor, therefore, warned the federal government to exercise caution by carefully ascertaining the authenticity of the so-called leadership of the Boko Haram that contacted for it for negotiation before engaging them in discussion.
Nigerian Pilot Saturday recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had during a state visit to France revealed that the government was in negotiation with the leadership of the sect and that it would be willing to offer them amnesty.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Malam Garba Shehu, who was a guest of the African Independent Television, AIT programme, yesterday morning, later said the presidency was approached by a group that claimed to have been contacted by the leadership of the insurgent group claiming that they were tired of fighting and would be willing to negotiate.
It would be recalled that former President Goodluck Jonathan had similar contact from a group that claimed the sect was ready for truce and was willing to hold talks with the President in France.
It was then revealed that the sect had allegedly nominated Shehu Sani and General Buhari to represent in the negotiation. Buhari later distanced himself from the group even as pressure mounted on Jonathan to institute a dialogue committee.
He caved and constituted the committee that subsequently claimed to have held several discussions with the leadership of the sect only to be disowned by the leader of Boko Haram, Ibrahim Shekau, who dismissed the claim as a figment of the imagination of the high-powered committee.
The committee eventually went downhill as nothing tangible was heard of it nor did it produce any member of the sect.
However, Ganduje would rather the government tighten its security noose using joint forces and the local communities, than engage the sect in discussions and negotiations.
“I believe the security agencies should have intelligence information to know what type of people we are dealing with. But, most importantly is community policing.
“Communities should be interested in the whole security situation because a lot of information can be received from the local people which will assist the security agencies. People should be alert about security situation,” he said.
He expressed confidence that the forthcoming Sallah celebration will be peaceful because of the successes recorded by the Nigerian troops against the insurgents.
“We believe that with the efforts of Mr President, the insurgency is down and we are expecting a hitch- free sallah celebration,’’ he concluded.

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