Premium Times (Abuja)

20 May 2014

Nigeria: Chibok Schoolgirls - Lagos Lawmakers Caution On Negotiation With Boko Haram

Some members of Lagos State House of Assembly have cautioned the Federal Government over the planned negotiation with the Boko-Haram sect over the release of abducted schoolgirls.

The Federal Government has been under increasing pressure to negotiate with Boko-Haram insurgents to regain the custody of the abducted school girls.

The group, which released a video showing some of the girls, said it would only release them if its members in prisons nationwide are released.

The lawmakers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday, advised the Federal Government to take caution in dealing with the insurgents.

Dayo Fafunmi, the Chairman, Public Account (Local) Committee, advised the government to be careful in accepting the offer of the insurgents to release the students.

"To me, it will be very difficult to negotiate with the members of Boko-Haram because it is a faceless organisation, so government should be more careful in dealing with them.

"This is a peculiar situation that requires more technicalities to achieve our objective and so, we have to be more careful in dealing with them.

"It is more technical, I think the government should involve the international community in order to resolve the matter perfectly," Mr. Fafunmi said.

Omowunmi Edet, the Chairman, House Committee on Establishment and Training, also said that government should not consider negotiating the innocent school girls for the release of criminals.

"I don't see any reason why we would negotiate the innocent for criminals; it is not done. We don't need to negotiate with them before our children are released to us.

"The only sad aspect of it is that we don't know what will happen to these girls if we don't negotiate.

"I do not subscribe to such negotiation, I believe that there are other ways we can ask the girls to be released without us negotiating with them," she said.

Ipoola Omisoore, Chairman, House Committee on House Service and Special Duties, advised government to increase intelligence gathering rather than negotiating with the sect.

Mr. Omisoore said that government should strengthen the security personnel and ensure that they were always ahead in term of intelligence, rather than dialogue with the sect.

"What the government needs to do is to deploy intelligent services and make sure they are ahead of the insurgents in terms of information and intelligence.

"Negotiating shows that we are giving them upper hand, it also shows that we are encouraging them to do more," Mr. Omisoore said.

The federal government is currently working with its international partners to release the girls who were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State on April 14.

(NAN)

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