A Boko Haram negotiator for the release of the Chibok girls who were abducted in 2014, Zannah Mustapha has said that talks with the terrorist group will have to include negotiating a peace treaty if the pandemonium in the North is to end.
Mustapha who was actively involved in the release of 21 girls of the 200 abducted in October is convinced that there is too much focus on releasing the remaining girls that were kidnapped by the terrorist group and not enough focus on seeking a permanent solution to the attacks by Boko Haram.
“We need to be able to transform from the Chibok girls to cessation of hostilities.”
“There will be no reconstruction as long as hostilities continue,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in the capital Abuja. “If you return the girls, how are you going to protect them? Are the military going to remain there for eternity?”
Insisting that a peace treaty is the way to go Mustapha said Nigeria is not the only country playing host to the terrorist group and would need to do a lot more than chasing Boko Haram out of Sambisa.
“Suppose we get rid of all the Boko Haram in Nigeria, what about those in Chad, in Cameroon, in Niger?” he said “Do you just seal your own border, and allow no other communication?”
Mustapha refused to give details about the conversations he is having with the terrorist group so as not to ruin the progress that has been made so far but he did point out that the fragmentation which occurred within the group last year leading to a segment breaking out from Abubakar Shekau’s leadership may further delay the release of the 179 Chibok girls still in their custody.