The Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani has declared his support for the Federal Government to dialogue with the Boko Haram saying it is necessary to end the insurgency as well as the safe return of the Chibok girls while advising the government to ensure that the negotiating team was made up of people capable of bringing the insurgents to the negotiating table.
The senator, who spoke in Kaduna said that the Federal Government’s interest in negotiation with the group was a welcome development adding that the federal government must be ready to make concession by releasing some insurgents in exchange for the abducted girls and others in captivity.
“We need credible personalities who have some level of recognition or respect with the insurgents and a second team to oversee the terms of agreement to their full implementation. These are very much necessary to achieve success and put an end to insurgency.
“But we must make it very clear that we will not in anyway surrender our sovereignty to any terror group. We will not concede any territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to any insurgent group, and we will not in any way jettison our secular principles as a democratic state.
“If these caveats are clear then we are all out for negotiations,” he said.
The senator said that dialogue and what he described as the ‘peoples’ war’ were effective strategies needed to successfully win the war against insurgency. He explained that negotiation was needed mainly to free the Chibok girls and other persons kidnapped by the insurgents and also achieve a cease-fire to give room for further dialogue.
Sani, however, said that both sides must come to the table with an open mind and be ready to make concession. According to him, efforts at negotiation in the past failed because the previous administration was not ready to make concessions.
“Negotiations require the government to be ready to make concessions by releasing some of the insurgents in return for the Chibok girls and other persons kept in captivity. The last administration was not ready to release some of the insurgents in its custody in exchange for the Chibok girls.
“We even reached a point of exchange when at the last point the government changed its mind based on security report received from security agencies. What I am saying is, you cannot achieve anything when negotiating if you are not ready to make concession. We should work on that to at least get the Chibok girls out of harm’s way and out of danger,” he advised.