Obasanjo in talks with Boko Haram
There are reports that Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has begun mediation talks to facilitate the release of the over 200 school girls abducted in Chibok, North-Eastern Nigeria. Obasanjo was said to have met with people close to Boko Haram at his Ota farm in Ogun state, South-Western Nigeria. Those reportedly at the meeting include relatives of senior Boko Haram fighters and intermediaries.
Obasanjo had been an advocate of the ‘carrot and stick’ approach towards tackling the insurgence, but many have argued that this approach will be futile, since Boko Haram has chosen to remain in hiding.
The Nigerian government has officially ruled out a prisoner swap with Boko Haram, but still insist that communication channels with the insurgence will be opened if they are ready to talk. It is not clear if Obasanjo’s mediation is sanctioned by the Nigerian government.