Chibok Girls: Lawyer Says Nigeria Should Negotiate With Boko Haram

By on June 3, 2014

Mr  John Oloyede,A legal practitioner, was on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, where he discussed the state of insecurity in the country, especially the search for the schoolgirls who were abducted from Chibok, Borno State. He believes that Nigeria should not find it difficult to negotiate with the Boko Haram sect for the sake of the 200 Chibok girls.

He said that it was about time Nigerians stopped looking for whom to blame for what has happened in the past but focus on what could be contributed to help the situation.

He advised Nigerians that blaming the Federal Government would not be productive – referring to the abduction as a conspiracy that backfired – as one could equally blame the parents of the girls who had prior information about the abduction but chose to go to the Police, rather than going to immediately fetch their kids before the act was carried out.

The issue of conflicting stories from different groups and persons concerning the abduction was also mentioned by the lawyer, who noted that the several conspiracy theories have only shown that things were not right about the way the abduction of the girls was being handled by the Government and the people.

Oloyede also stated that negotiation should not be seen as an impossibility in the circumstances, explaining that if America could give 5 men of the Taliban for the sake of one soldier who had been in captivity for 5 years, then Nigeria could not justify its refusal to negotiate for the lives of 200 children.

“Africans are known to negotiate”, he stressed, adding that “We (Nigeria) are not setting any precedence” in response to the views that the negotiations would be sending the wrong signal of gullibility to Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.

Oloyede believes that the rise of Boko Haram and the need for Nigeria to negotiate with Boko Haram was a product of mistakes which had been made in the past and Nigeria had now reached a stage where it has to do what is required for the girls to be brought home safe, as any parent would do.

He disagreed with the call that the location of the abductors should be stormed.

The lawyer further posited that the sect’s plan was to use the girls as a bargaining chip. He wondered why the group decided to slaughter boys in an earlier attack in Buni Yadi, Yobe State, and decided to keep the Chibok girls alive.

He cited reports that some parents had been visiting the girls in custody of the insurgents, while the Military could not move near their camps.

He also cited the release of a recent video showing the girls speaking and complaining about their condition in the terrorists’ camps as proof that the Boko Haram had their plans well worked out.

He said that he believed that the insurgents knew that girls would attract more attention and they knew that killing them would bring out the wrath of the Nigerian Army, so their plan remained to push for negotiation.

Oloyede noted that Nigeria needs to develop a home-grown solution to its problems, because America and the international community would not have the capacity to help it solve the problem, as he maintained his position that the international community was responsible for the refusal of the Nigerian Government to negotiate the proposed swap by the sect.

About EKELEME JUDITH OLUCHI

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