Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, has confirmed that the government is currently engaged in talks with the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram. It however said that the dialogue was not the type envisaged by Nigerians.
The Punch reported that Abati, who spoke to their correspondents Abuja, said that, “talks are ongoing at the background. But the talks are not the kinds being envisaged by Nigerians,”
According to Abati “I know that some Nigerians are expecting that a venue should be chosen and a banner will be placed there indicating that the Federal Government is holding dialogue with the group there… That is not the kind of talks we are talking about here. The ongoing talk is a back channel one in which those who know members of the group are talking with them on behalf of the government.”
The sect, among others things, has asked for compensation for its killed members; that its demolished mosque be rebuilt; that its members in custody be released; and that the dialogue venue should be in Saudi Arabia. It spoke through Abu Mohammed Ibn Abdulaziz, the second-in-command to its leader, Abubakar Shekau.