Reports from North-East of Nigeria indicates that the Boko Haram group is seeking avenues for a dialogue with the federal government in a bid to put an end to the recent onslaught against it by the Nigerian Army.
According to credible media sources conversant with the happenings in North-East Nigeria, it was stated that the recent onslaught led by the Chief of Army Staff that resulted in the death of over 135 members of the group, which included some top commanders is indeed the final straw that broke the camel’s back.
A media source who pleaded anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information stated that the leader of the Boko Haram group, Abubakar Shekau is indeed battling for his life as some top commanders of the group have turned against him and are ready to take the bulls by the horns to negotiate for a soft landing by surrendering and seeking forgiveness.
“After the last operation by our troops, over 135 members of the group were killed including a top commander who has been at the forefront of surrendering as there seems to be no way out of their dilemma. The death of the commander indeed shook Abubakar Shekau who is battling to avert a revolt from his members over his insensitivity to their plight and also the death of one of their top commanders who has advocated for a ceasefire in recent times.”
The source also added that the situation in the camp of the Boko Haram group is that that of despair and lamentations. “We have been able to scoop that Abubakar Shekau is trying his best to keep the spirits of his fighters high, but the challenge they faced in recent times has not yielded the desired results as our troops are closing in on them as the day goes by”
It was also gathered from reliable multiple sources that the death of the top commander had been blamed on Abubakar Shekau who is still maintaining a tough face as regards the war believing that the situation could still be remedied. What is reportedly left in the Boko Haram camp is a group of disgruntled fighters that are lacking in everything from food to arms and ammunition.
“You might have read in some daily newspapers on the efforts of some Boko Haram members reaching out to the federal government for a ceasefire. This is very true, as there have been several attempts to get the Nigerian Army to a ceasefire which has not yielded the desired results since the Chief of Army Staff is personally coordinating the operations. I can tell you that the situation is quite tensed as the directive of the Chief of Army Staff is to get Abubakar Shekau wherever he is, and I am not sure any of the sector commanders can go against that directive. So in a way, it is a tough situation for everybody, unless the Chief of Army Staff orders a ceasefire, and so far he hasn’t done so.”
According to a top staff of one of the humanitarian agencies in North-East Nigeria, he stated that the Boko Haram group is seriously rooting for dialogue as a way of ending the war. He also added that overtures had been made and from the look of things the Nigerian Army is not disposed to the idea of dialogue.
“We have done our best in asking the military echelon to dialogue with the Boko Haram group, but we have not received any favorable response so far. You know that there is a limit to how far we can push because it is a very sensitive issue. As such, we must respect whatever decision from the military authorities.”
When asked if indeed the Boko Haram group is seeking for a genuine dialogue with the federal government, the source stated that the Boko Haram group is truly seeking for a way to end the war as they have run out of ideas and stock to prosecute the war further.
“They have reached out to us to plead with the military authorities to halt further attacks on them as they are ready to dialogue and drop their arms. This much we have passed to the theatre command, and as we speak, we have not gotten a response from them. We are treading carefully so as not to incur the wrath of the authorities, and so this is where we are as it stands. If the military hierarchy so decides to dialogue with the Boko Haram group we shall welcome it because we are interested in the return of peace to North-East Nigeria.”
According to another source who has worked in the North East for several years, stated that the probable option for the Boko Haram group is to seek the support of world leaders in prevailing on the Nigerian authorities to dialogue with them.
“From the feelers, we are getting; it doesn’t seem likely that the Nigerian President is ready for a dialogue. The option left, in my opinion, is the intervention of world leaders and organizations, and that can only happen at the diplomatic level, which is clearly outside our purview. I can tell you in confidence that many of the Boko Haram fighters are ready for a dialogue and they are insisting that the government should withdraw the Army as a sign of goodwill. However, how that would play out is left to be imagined. They have cried out on numerous occasions for the Army to a ceasefire so they can have a dialogue, but from the look of things that situation seems much tensed as the troops are advancing daily.”
The Chief of Army Staff who has been in the North East has reportedly ruled out the possibility of a dialogue with the Boko Haram members. A top commander reportedly stated that the Army Chief is not disposed to having a dialogue with Boko Haram.
“The Chief is not interested in any form of dialogue and as such the troops have continued to advance in recent weeks. Not unless the Army Chief shifts his grounds, the likelihood of dialogue is ruled out as it stands. I do not see that happening in my opinion as it seems the big man in Abuja would not condone such options with the way things are. The option of dialogue would have happened years back if indeed they were serious.”
It would be recalled that the Nigerian troops have carried out sustained operations against the Boko Haram group in recent weeks led by the Chief of Army Staff that has seen to the death of hundreds of Boko Haram fighters.
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