A member of the Federal Government Dialogue Committee on Boko Haram, Aisha Wakil, said the violent attacks by members of the Boko Haram persisted despite the Federal Government dialogue moves because the insurgents were doubtful about government ‘sincerity’ over the issue.
Aisha, who made this known in an exclusive interview with Peoples Daily in Maiduguri yesterday, was commenting against the backdrop of the renewed bloody attacks on innocent civilians in various parts of Borno state, which left hundreds dead.
She explained that though the dialogue committee had achieved 60% success in the discharge of its assignment, it was however unable to convince the insurgents to do away with their perceived skepticism over federal government sincerity.
“We had intimate conversation with some of them, some of them were brought physically for the committee to see and we discussed with them. I can assure you that majority of them wants this dialogue desperately, but were very skeptical if government indeed means well”, she explained.
“When we were inaugurated, we divided ourselves into sub-committees, such as contact group, victim support group, among others. So those in the contact group were the ones going out to reach the insurgents, giving them such confidence to come and meet them separately as we didn’t bring them in the broad committee, but we were meeting them as they came.
“So we were able to meet a quite reasonable number of them and they were all pleased, but their major fear was if they come out, they will be arrested and they don’t trust the federal government, they tell you that they don’t trust the government and even cautioned us to realized the consequence we will face if anything happens to them.
“They keep telling us that there are certain people they don’t trust, there certain things happening, they don’t trust this, and they don’t trust that. So had it been we continued, we would win their trust”, she said.
She added that following the committees inability to persuade them to have a solid trust in the peace deal, there were still more killings and bombings.
She said though some of the insurgents had considered the dialogue as real, there are certain groups that don’t believe that the committee or government is sincere and believed government is using the committee to crush them.
“In fact most of the arrested suspected insurgents we visited especially at the Kuje prison alleged one particular person among them went for a dialogue, even when others turned down the invitation for fear of arrest, but was tricked and got apprehended.