There were indications last night that the claimed enthusiasm by the leadership of the Boko Haram sect with the Nigerian Government was not holding as planned.
Vanguard learnt from credible sources close to both the government and the terrorist group that no progress was being made in the expected dialogue because no identifiable representative of the group had shown up for the planned discussion with the federal government.
While there were claims lately that the terrorist group was angling for peace talks with the President Buhari Government, information at the disposal of Saturday Vanguard indicate that the Federal Government was yet to pinpoint any credible person from the group to begin negotiations with.
Competent sources said that those who see themselves as the bonafide leaders of the group were uncomfortable with the claim by a foreign leader that had been appointed for the group when they were in charge.
A source who has been close to previous failed negotiations with the group, said that the announcement by the Chadian leader. Idris Derby, last week, that the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, had been replaced by Mahamat Daoud, did not go down well with those who were keen on dialoguing with the Nigerian Government.
It was learnt that the leadership of Boko Haram in Nigeria was angry that it was the same country that made Nigeria to lose over $23 million to an acclaimed ceasefire with so-called Boko Haram leaders, when in actual fact, there was no such deal.
The group feared that the announcement of a new leader for the group from the country must have happened just because of the announcement by the new Nigerian leader to open negotiations with the sect.
“What has happened is that those who wanted to come forward for possible discussion with the Nigerian government have pulled back following the declaration that a new leader has been appointed for the group,” one source familiar with the issue, said.
“Their feeling seems to be that if the Chadian leader can stay in his country and dictate what the Boko Haram leaders can and cannot do in Nigeria, let him do so.
“Those who are close to the Shekau leadership fear that the announcement of a new leader from a neighbouring country is a ploy by pecuniary-conscious elements to tap into the favourable disposition of the new administration in Nigeria, which is seen to be very serious in making peace and ending the vicious cycle of violence that has claimed thousands of lives and property since 2009,” the source said.
It was learnt that the anger within the aggrieved Boko Haram camp was responsible for renewed suicide bombings in Yobe and Borno states in recent weeks and days, a development had drastically reduced upon the offer of the olive branch by the federal government.
On the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the country, Derby had boasted that apart from decapitating the terrorists, Boko Haram was no longer being led by Shekau.
Derby said: “There is someone apparently called Mahamat Daoud who is said to have replaced Abubakar Shekau and he wants to negotiate with the Nigerian government.
“For my part, I would advise not to negotiate with a terrorist,” Derby, whose country has been spearheading the regional fight back against Boko Haram, said.
Contacted last night on the progress of the dialogue between Nigeria and the sect, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas, who heads the Centre for Crisis Communication, said that the centre was willing and ready to facilitate negotiation with any genuine groups that is ready for dialogue with a view to bringing about peace and development in Nigeria.
Anas made it clear that the objective of the centre was that of facilitation and management of information that would ensure that Nigerian remains a safe, peaceful and stable country for all and its neighbours.
The Buhari government has said that while it is taking military steps to smoke out Boko Haram within the shortest possible time, it is already for dialogue to end the violence