Former President Goodluck Jonathan has told an association of international diplomats at the Geneva-based Cercle Diplomatique,
that his administration never negotiated with Boko Haram, not to talk of its being duped.
Goodluck Jonathan in a volte face denied any such engagement.
He said: “We did not negotiate with Boko Haram… my government never set up a team to negotiate with Boko Haram.”
He explained that what his government did was to study the critical situation in the North-East, where it found that the
rate of school dropouts was on the increase, thus necessitating the establishment of a committee to discuss the matter.
“We then felt that there might be local issues involved in the matter. What we then did was to set up a committee of
senior people in the states to hold conversations with all stakeholders, including community leaders, religious leaders
and all other interest groups. Their mandate was to hold conversations with these groups towards finding a local solution
to the problem,” he stated.
“There was never a time we negotiated with Boko Haram,” he insisted.
However, there were reports indicating that not only where there talks with the belligerent group at the behest of the
former President, there was an assurance that a ceasefire agreement with them was to be achieved.
Goodluck Jonathan added, telling the global diplomats that: “For a negotiation to take place, there should
be certain expectations from both sides. We just couldn’t negotiate with the terrorists because such expectations could
not be established. Anybody who says that we negotiated with Boko Haram during my time is merely playing politics.”