The federal government has confirmed that it is in dialogue with the fundamentalist sect Boko Haram, which has been raging insurgency across states in Northern Nigeria, claiming hundreds of lives.
The dialogue with the sect is said to be holding through what is described as “back room channels”. This was made known by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati.
Dr. Abati, told state house correspondents in Abuja that the federal government is discussing with the insurgents with a view to finding a permanent solution to the siege on the north.
He explained that such engagements with the sect or its affiliates would not be the conventional roundtable talks that are the norm across the world; instead, it would be a meeting by proxy.
The federal government has decided on the use of backdoor channels so as not to endanger government negotiators or expose the sect members.
Dr Abati adds that the federal government would follow the process “through multi-level, constructive interventions aimed at addressing a difficult issue that is multifarious.”
According to him “the form of the dialogue is that backroom channels are being used to reach across with the sole objective of understanding what exactly the grievances of these persons are. What exactly can be done to resolve the crisis, in the overall best interest of ensuring peace and stability in Nigeria and the security of lives and property?”
The presidential spokesman adds that president Goodluck Jonathan is only asking for the support of Nigerians in this onerous national duty.