by Isi Esene
Shehu Sani, the president of the Civil Right Congress (CRC), has put holes in the claim by the Federal Government that it is in talks with the leaders of the Boko Haram Islamic sect.
Sani, who spoke to newsmen over the weekend, said the announcement was meant to deceive Nigerians into believing that the Goodluck Jonathan administration is proactively addressing the insecurity problem currently plaguing the nation.
“The claim by the federal government is just a ploy by the government to give Nigerians hope that they were on top of combating the insecurity challenges bedeviling the nation,” he said.
Mohammed Habu, a man who claimed to be a deputy to the sect’s leader, Sheikh Abubakar Shekau, had last week in Saudi Arabia claimed the group had decided to heed the advice of relevant stakeholders to ceasefire and give dialogue a chance.
Sani based his argument on the premise that the Boko Haram sect leader, Shekau, usually communicates his intentions directly to the public using an Internet video site, YouTube, and not through unconfirmed intermediaries like Mohammed who claimed to have the group’s mandate.
He said, “I am not aware of any talks going on. No credible talk is going on. If there are going to be any genuine talks, there should be confirmation from the leadership of the group and not the government. Boko Haram, from what we know, the only channel of communication by the group is through YouTube posting by the leader, Sheikh Abubakar Shekau.”
It is pertinent to note that there has been a noticeable reduction in the spate of militant attacks in the northern part of the country in the past days, a development which observers attribute to the ongoing Eid-el-fitr festivities.