‘The Girls Are A Growing Burden’ – Boko Haram Ready To Negotiate

Boko Haram has reportedly demanded for the release of 70 of its detained members in exchange for the freedom of the abducted Chibok girls.

Boko Haram insurgents

Boko Haram insurgents

According to report which emerged yesterday, they are also asking the government to grant amnesty to its members.

The Nation reports that a lawyer who has a close relationship with the insurgent, Hajiya Aisha Wakil also known as Mama Boko Haram, told AlJazeera English that the sect said they would free the girls only when these conditions are met.

Hajia Wakil who said she does not agree with what the sect is doing, explained that she speaks to the insurgents as she is their mother and they sometimes call her Um el Salam (Arabic for mother of peace), adding that she is still with them after so many years because she didn’t betray them, neither did she betray the government nor the military, she is just a middle man seeking for peace.

They want to be given amnesty, rehabilitated, and allowed to come back home and move freely. I told them not to hold the girls as ransom and to give me the sick ones – and that was where we ended up. The girls are a growing burden to them, and if the demands are not met …

“These are Nigeria’s lost boys. My hope is that the government listens to them and lets them have dialogue,” she said.

According to her, the terrorists were attacking villages to get supplies to use in taking care of the girls.

Hajia Wakil who was a member of the Presidential Committee on Conflict Resolution led by Sheikh Ahmed Lemu, said she knew many members of the sect, especially those born in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, adding that Boko Haram had evolved over the years and the girls were abducted by members who  deviated from its original teachings.

It’s been over 2 months since more than 276 girls were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State by Boko Haram on April 14. Though some managed to escape, about 219 girls are still being held hostage according to a report submitted by the presidential fact-finding committee. Despite protests all over the world and help from world powers like the United States, Britain, France and many others, the girls are still missing and nowhere to be found.

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