Vanguard (Lagos)

16 May 2014

Nigeria: Muslim Council of Britain to Hold Talks With Boko Haram

The Muslim Council of Britain has offered to mediate in the Boko Haram insurgency in the light of the "Bring Back our Girls" global campaign. The Council's decision followed a meeting with the leadership of the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (CANUK) which had sought its support in the wake of increased assistance to Nigeria from the international community.

CANUK Chairman Mr Bimbo Afolayan confirmed the development to the Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in London on Friday during a protest outside the Nigerian High Commission.

Afolayan said that CANUK had met and deliberated on ways to offer assistance and support to government in curbing the insurgency.

"One of the things we resolved to do was to appeal to government to negotiate with Boko Haram to the extent of prisoner exchange.

"We also reached out to the Muslim Council of Great Britain and they have offered to intervene by holding talks with Boko Haram, we will pursue this seriously."

He said that a security committee to advice government on long-term solutions to these problems had been set up.

"We need permanent solution, there is no point if the girls are released today and another group are abducted tomorrow."

Also, Mrs Jenny Okafor a human rights activist and convener of the protest, said government should not rule out the possibility of negotiating with the group.

"It is over a month since these girls were abducted and they have been going through trauma, they need to be released, I want to thank the international community for offering to assist the Federal Government," Okafor said. NAN

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