The leadership of Jama’atul Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, also called Boko Haram, in 2012 named the then presidential candidate of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Muhammadu Buhari and five other prominent northerners, to mediate between the group and the Nigerian government.
The group also proposed Saudi Arabia for the talks, which the government had for long suggested to ascertain the sect’s grievances.
Others, it suggested as mediators were Dr. Shettima Ali Monguno, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Ambassador Gaji Galtimari, Mrs Aisha Alkali Wakil, popularly known as Mama Boko Haram and her husband Alkali Wakil.
Boko Haram named Abu Mohammed Ibn Abdulaziz, said to be the next in command to its leader, Abubakar Shekau, as leader of its team to the talks. He was to be joined by Abu Abbas, Sheik Ibrahim Yusuf, Sheik Sani, Kantagora and the detained Mamman Nur.
Ibn Abdulaziz, who spoke in a tele-conference with reporters in Maiduguri, Borno state, also called for the arrest of former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff, but gave no reason for the demand.
He also asked for compensation for families of killed Boko Haram members and the release of those in detention.
Ibn Abdulaziz said, “We are not actually challenging the state, as people are saying, but the security (forces) who are killing our members, children and wives.”
“We are highly offended but if this government is sincere, everything (the attacks) will come to an end. We want to dialogue but government must show sincerity in its handling of the situation.”
Boko Haram and its offshoot, Islamic State West Africa Province, have killed thousands and displaced millions in northeastern Nigeria in the last 12 years.
The Nigerian military has repeatedly claimed that the insurgency has been largely defeated and it frequently underplays any losses.
In the past months, soldiers have been targeted by the insurgents.
Thousands of soldiers and officers have been reportedly killed since 2009.
In February 2020, about 20 soldiers were also killed in Malari, Borno State by the insurgents.
SaharaReporters gathered that the soldiers were on patrol to clear some Boko Haram elements in the area following credible intelligence when they were ambushed by the group.