Abducted Girls: FG Invites Boko Haram for Talks, Ask Shekau to Send Rep
The Federal Government has invited leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau for talks to negotiate the release of more than 20 girls abducted by the sect on April 14.
Speaking on BBC Focus on Africa programme, Minister of Special Duties, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki said the Federal Government is ready to talk to Boko Haram militants for the swap as demanded.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said on Monday that captured girls could be swapped for jailed fighters.
The girls were abducted last month from a boarding school in the north-east.
A video emerged on Monday showing about 130 of the girls wearing hijabs and reciting Koranic verses.
If Shekau was sincere, he should send representatives for talks, Turaki said.
Turaki , who is also 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 said 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”.
Correspondents say that the government appears to have changed its stance in relation to talks, because it initially suggested there would be no negotiations with Boko Haram.
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.
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