B’Haram: Security Expert Advises Govt On Fresh Negotiations
FOLLOWING President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent revelation during his visit to France that his government was negotiating with the Boko Haram insurgents, a retired military officer and security expert, Capt. Umar Aliyu, has reminded the government that the insurgents had in the past left no one in doubt as regards their appetite for botched negotiations.
“We have seen it, and it is quite fresh in our memories too, a still-born ceasefire agreement.
Should the government take any preparedness of the sect for negotiations seriously, it should be done with two things in mind.
“First, the government must negotiate from a position of strength, given that our troops have upper the hand in the region presently, and the reported surrender of insurgents in their droves. Next, while negotiations are ongoing, military and other relevant operations to reclaim, redeem and secure our nation-space will stay on course… there will be no break, pause or downtime in this regard”, Capt. Aliyu said.
He continued :“Intelligence chieftains should track every aspect of the negotiations, particularly that which the insurgents claim or offer, while cross-checking same with what is known and feasible on ground.
“This way, we vouchsafe any repeated attempt to subject the exalted position of our Commander-in-Chief to ridicule or time-wasting antics, as was sadly the case in the still-born ceasefire, purportedly conceived in Chad in the last dispensation”.
When asked if it is necessary to negotiate with the insurgents when the military have said they are winning the war, Aliyu affirmed that there was an improvement in the situation as it concerns military operations in the Northeast.
“In my opinion, negotiating with the sect leaders, as indicated by the federal government, underscores the option of our President and country being magnanimous in victory, even as this must be done with vigilance and caution, given the sects’ diversionary antecedents, as regards negotiation, amnesty and other allied leeway for conflict resolution,” he said.
Aliyu said sincerity of the negotiation would come to rest, for the most part of it, is on the insurgents themselves.
A security source told The Guardian that government was mindful of the risks and effects of engaging in a botched deal with the insurgents and is extremely cautious and not leaving any room for lapses.