Boko haram
Relief beckons to Nigeria security space as Hajiya Aisha Wakil, who is believed to be close to the Boko Haram leadership, says the group is ready for talks with the Federal Government on the fate of the 219 missing Chibok girls.


According to The Nation Newspaper, Aisha Wakil said yesterday that she had been on the neck of the Boko Haram leaders, who according to her offered to honour her to dialogue with the government and release the girls and other captives.

The group’s leadership might soon make a pronouncement on their plan for the girls, she said.

Hajiya Aisha, who spoke with our correspondent on the phone, said she expected the Boko Haram leaders to come out and discuss with the government.

She said: “Since I came back, I have been on their neck. 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.”

Although Hajiya Aisha was not forthcoming on the imminent release of the girls, whose abduction has sparked a global outrage, she said: “I think they might post some information on YouTube within 24 hours.”

The Army on August 14 declared Hajiya Aisha and two others wanted  for interrogation in line with the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 (as amended).

The others are a journalist, Ahmed Salkida, and Amb. Ahmed  Umar Bolori.

But Aisha has maintained her innocence, claiming  that she is not a shady personality.

In a reaction to the Army’s statement, she had said: “I am Aisha Alkali Wakil. I understand that  the military declared me,  Ahmed Silkida and  Ahmed Bolori wanted for having links with Boko Haram. It’s interesting; now they believe me?

“I know the Boko Haram boys. I have been in front fighting for peace long before Chibok girls were kidnapped. Nigerian security knows me too well. I’m not shady. Why declaring me wanted?

“I have had meetings with Chief of Army Staff and his people. I told them the way forward, to allow me come with some commanders of Boko Haram and  discuss with them,  present the release of CBGs but they chose to do things their own ways only and never gave considerations to any of my suggestions.

“I  want to inform the Nigerian people of my innocence and make them realise that I am in constant relation with the security personnel and they know where to find me but wonder why I had to be declared wanted on national news, even mentioning my husband’s name alongside.

“This has put my immediate and extended family under a lot of pressure and I do not deserve this from the Nigerian government.

“Though they may not appreciate all my efforts to proffer peaceful solutions to the menace of Boko Haram, my name should not be mudslinged nor my character defamed. Thank you.”

President Muhammadu Buhari,  in an interview with reporters on the sideline of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) in Nairobi, Kenya last weekend, said the government was ready to dialogue with bonafide leaders of the group who know the whereabouts of the girls.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, quoted Buhari as saying: ‘‘I have made a couple of comments on the Chibok girls and it seems to me that much of it has been politicized.

‘‘What we said is that the government which I preside over is prepared to talk to bonafide leaders of Boko Haram.

‘‘If they do not want to talk to us directly, let them pick an internationally recognized Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), convince them that they are holding the girls and that they want Nigeria to release a number of Boko Haram leaders in detention, which they are supposed to know.

‘‘If they do it through the ‘modified leadership’ of Boko Haram and they talk with an internationally recognized NGO, then Nigeria will be prepared to discuss for their release.”

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