Following the botched rescue attempt by the British Special forces in Sokoto last week leading to the death of two European contractors the UK authorities have finally prevailed on Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan to open genuine dialogue with members of Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad popularly known as Boko Haram.
The sect has officially named President of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria, Sheik Ahmed Datti as its lead negotiator and President Jonathan has begun secret meetings with Dr. Datti to end the insurgency that has so far killed some 1,200 civilians and various security agents across Nigeria.
A source confirmed to Saharareporters that a team earlier put together by the federal government has been discarded as it was discovered they had no relationship with the sect. The UK government had used a document presented recently at the Chattam House by Comrade Shehu Sanni of the Kaduna -based Civil Rights Congress as the lead for a genuine beginning of critical dialogue. Comrade Sanni reportedly named some individuals that could end the insurgency of Boko Hrama putting Dr. Datti as the most trusted person by the sect.
The document also stated that the slain leader of the group Mohammed Yusuf was a member of the Supreme Council of Sharia led by Sheikh Datti Ahmed.
Presidency sources confirmed that Boko Haram has requested the release of its members detained across Nigeria as the requirement for further talks with the federal government. However, the federal government has only conceded to releasing the low profile members of the sect, asking to hold on to the high profile leaders currently in high security detention centers in the federal capital territory and military barracks.
The Boko Haram organization has said that if only low profile members are released they can only guarantee low profile ceasefire of their attacks.
The talks are being delayed by some hardline security chiefs who are hellbent on fighting the sect to the end according to Presidency sources.
If current pre-conditions for peace talks are met, there will be a ceasefire for at least for weeks while a new set of negotiators will be set up in the coming days or weeks to comprise of the secretary of the Supreme Council of Sharia, Nasir Baba, Comrade Shehu Sanni and a leading journalist said to be in contact with the sect.