Nigeria: Boko Haram Names Buhari, Five Others As Mediators - *FG Welcomes Move, Buhari Cautious
Maiduguri — Leadership of Jama'atul Ahlis Sunnah Lidda'awati Wal Jihad, also called Boko Haram, has named the former Head of State and presidential candidate of Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), among six prominent northerners, to mediate between the group and the Federal Government.
The Federal Government in a statement by Dr. Reuben Abati, Presidential Spokesman, Thursday, welcomed the move.
Boko Haram, however, said that for the group to observe ceasefire, the Federal Government must heed its demand by arresting and prosecuting the former Governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
Governor Ibrahim Shettima of Borno State also, Thursday, said security agencies should be allowed to do their job on those they suspect are sponsors or sympathisers of the Boko Haram sect.
Shettima told state house correspondents after a meeting of the National Economic Council that the security challenge in the country required the efforts of all Nigerians to overcome.
Meanwhile, spokesman of the group, Abu Mohammed Ibn Abdulazeez, who doubles as the Second-in-Command (Amir) to their leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau, made the group's intention known in a tele-conference with journalists in Maiduguri, Thursday.
Abdulazeez said other people, who could mediate with the government if its conditions were met, include Dr. Shettima Ali Monguno, former Yobe State governor, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Ambassador Gaji Galtimari and Hajia Aisha Wakil and her husband, Alkali Wakil.
He insisted, however, that such dialogue must not take place in Nigeria, but Saudi Arabia.
According to him, the choice of Saudi Arabia was informed by the insincerity of the Nigeria government for dialogue and its betrayal in the past.
Abdulazeez insisted that for the group to ceasefire completely, the government must not only apprehend, but prosecute Senator Modu Sheriff according to the laws of the land as well as compensate members of the group and rebuild their places of worship destroyed during 2009 uprising, which led to the alleged murder of their leader, Mohammed Yusuf.