Chibok Schoolgirls: Nigerians in U.K. ask government to negotiate with Boko Haram

Abubakar Shekau, self acclaimed Boko Haram leader

The Muslim Council of Britain has offered to negotiate with Boko Haram as regards prisoner exchange.

Some Nigerians in the U.K. have asked the federal government to negotiate the release of the kidnapped Chibok school girls with their abductors.

The Nigerians also met with the Muslim Council of Britain, which has, therefore, offered to mediate in the Boko Haram insurgency.

The Central Association of Nigerians in the U.K., CANUK, Chairman, Bimbo Afolayan, confirmed the development to the Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria in London on Friday during a protest outside the Nigerian High Commission.

Mr. Afolayan said that CANUK had met and deliberated on ways to offer assistance and support to government in curbing the insurgency.

“One of the things we resolved to do was to appeal to government to negotiate with Boko Haram to the extent of prisoner exchange.

“We also reached out to the Muslim Council of Great Britain and they have offered to intervene by holding talks with Boko Haram, we will pursue this seriously,” he said.

He said that a security committee to advise government on long-term solutions to these problems was also set up.

“We need permanent solution, there is no point if the girls are released today and another group are abducted tomorrow.”

Also, Jenny Okafor, a human rights activist and convener of the protest, said government should not rule out the possibility of negotiating with the group.

“It is over a month since these girls were abducted and they have been going through trauma, they need to be released, I want to thank the international community for offering to assist the Federal Government,” Mr. Okafor said.

The Boko Haram had in a video shown some of the kidnapped school girls and threatened to only release them if its members held by the government are released.

Although President Goodluck Jonathan was quoted by a British official as saying the government would not negotiate with the group, Information Minister, Labaran Maku, told journalists after a government meeting on Wednesday that all options were being considered.

(NAN)


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