Posted by Popoola, Sunday on Sunday, June 8, 2014 Under: News Stories

In an attempt to broker the release of the more than 200 kidnapped school girls, former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo met with the relatives of the members of the insurgent religious sect, Boko Haram between 23rd and 25th May, 2014. The meeting was said to have taken place at Obasanjo’s farm in Ogun State, reported the AFP. 

An anonymous source made it known to the media that ”the meeting was focused on how to free the girls through negotiations”. Confirming the truth of the meeting, the former president said that the talks were only exploratory. “As an African father, a Nigerian father or grandfather, any of the girls could have been my daughter or granddaughter… so, I am only trying to reach out to see what can be done to secure their release”, the former President confirmed.

According to Nigeriawatch.com report, it was gathered that Chief Obasanjo is worried that Nigeria’s prestige in Africa as a major continental power had been diminished by President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to bring in Western military help, including from the US. Already, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has mocked Nigeria's acceptance of foreign help, saying he would rather commit suicide that go down that route.

However, media reports could not clarify if Chief Obasanjo’s weekend meeting had been sanctioned by the government, especially as he and President Jonathan have fallen out lately. Chief Obasanjo, who backed President Jonathan’s 2011 presidential campaign, fiercely criticized him in a letter released to the public last December.

According to the source, Chief Obasanjo supported a prisoner-for-hostage swap that would see some of the girls released in exchange for a group of Boko Haram fighters held in Nigerian custody. However, there are fears that as a private citizen whose ties to the presidency have been damaged, Chief Obasanjo does not have the authority to negotiate any deal on the government’s behalf.”

Inspite all the clandestine meetings and plans, media report has it that one of the abducted girls had escaped from her captors. Yet, the sect continued its onslaught on communities in the North-east where it killed 34 people, including armed forces personnel and policemen on Monday.

In : News Stories 

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