Boko Haram 'set to return Chibok girls, ready for peace'

Abuja – Boko Haram militants are reportedly believed to be ready for talks with the Nigerian government, a development that could lead to the freedom of the kidnapped Chibok girls.

According to The Nation, Hajiya Aisha Wakil, a woman said to be close to the militants, revealed that the group was ready for dialogue.

She said the group's leadership could soon make a pronouncement on their plan for the girls. 

"I think they might post some information on YouTube within 24 hours," she was quoted as saying.

"…They have now agreed to come out and discuss with the government and bring back the girls. I am for the Chibok girls and all the captives. They are ready for peace. This is what they told me," Wakil was reported as saying.

At least 219 girls from Chibok were still missing after they were abducted in 2014, with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari remaining steadfast in his position on negotiations with the insurgents.

International mediators 

A report by This Day indicated that two recent attempts made on the part of the government to swap the girls for Boko Haram prisoners had both reached dead ends.

Despite an apparent readiness to discuss the release of the captured girls, Buhari however, remained cautious, stating that negotiations would only be entered into with those leaders directly responsible for holding the victims.

While speaking on the sidelines of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) over the weekend, Buhari revealed that his administration would be willing to conduct talks with the help of international mediators, should the insurgents not wish to deal with government officials directly.

"If they do it through the 'modified leadership' of Boko Haram and they talk with an internationally recognised NGO, then Nigeria will be prepared to discuss for their release," he said.

"We want those girls out and safe. The faster we can recover them and hand them over to their parents, the better for us."

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