Posted by News Express | 13 May 2014 | 3,695 times
Nigeria is ready to talk to Islamist militants Boko Haram for the release of more than 200 abducted schoolgirls, Special Duties Minister Tanimu Turaki has announced.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau had said yesterday that captured girls who had not converted to Islam could be swapped for jailed fighters.
Special Duties Minister Tanimu Turaki this afternoon Turaki told the BBC that if Shekau was sincere, he should send representatives for talks.
The girls were abducted from their hostel in Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, in the night of April 14.
A video emerged on yesterday showing about 130 of the girls reciting Koranic verses.
Alhaji Turaki – who is chairman of a committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to find ways of reaching agreement with Boko Haram – said that Shekau should send people he trusted to meet the standing committee on reconciliation.
He told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme that “dialogue is a key option” in bringing the crisis to an end and that “an issue of this nature can be resolved outside of violence.”
Government information agency director Mike Omeri said late on Monday that the authorities would “use whatever kind of action” it took to free the girls, and that a military operation – with foreign help – was possible.
This was in direct contradiction of the hasty conclusion of Interior Minister Abba Moro, who declared earlier yesterday that there would be no negotiations with Boko Haram.
•Photo shows Boko Haram leader Shekau.
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