Nigerian former president Olusegun Obasanjo, in a bid to resolve the Boko Haram crisis that has engulfed the nation in recent times, has been involved in some shuttle peace moves across the country.
Led by the The ex-president, the Federal Government yesterday opened talks with members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect. Obasanjo visited the family of the slain leader of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf, in Maiduguri for a closed-door session.
He visited Jos and Maiduguri, where he had the joint peace meeting with the Jamatul Nasril Islam, JNI, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and Plateau leaders.
Report says the visit was to initiate the talks which the government plans to have with the Boko Haram members. He was received by Borno State Deputy Governor Zanna Umar Mustapha.
A source who pleaded not to be named, said: “Obasanjo met Mohammed Yusuf’s family at Railway Quarters, the demolished headquarters of Boko Haram. He stayed with them for about one and a half hours before departing for the airport.”
The source also said Obasanjo pleaded with Yusuf’s family to prevail on Boko Haram members to sheathe their sword and stop the spate of bombings nationwide.
The anonymous source quoted Obasanjo saying: “This is a personal initiative. I urge you to forgive and forget the past. I plead with you to give me the chance to mediate between the family and the government.”
The brother-in-law of the slain Boko Haram leader, Babakura Fuggu, whose father was also executed in 2009, reportedly said: “Since 2009, this is the first time any high-profile figure has commiserated with the family. We are happy with this visit. About 30-40 percent of our members are scattered in neighboring countries of Chad, Niger and Cameroon.”
Report says the government is ready for talks with Boko Haram, like it did in the Niger Delta. The ex-President has decided to avail the government of his experience in peace-keeping operations. He believes dialogue could save the nation from bomb explosions.