Boko Haram is ready to free the more than 200 Chibok young women and girls kidnapped from a boarding school in 2014, the Associated Press (AP) on Wednesday quoted an unnamed negotiator as saying.
In return, the sect demands the release of its captured leaders.
The report came on a day military authorities announced the capture of the suspected masterminds of the recent Jos and Zaria massacres by the sect.
The AP quoted the negotiator as saying that Boko Haram’s current offer is limited to the Chibok girls.
The new is a reopening of an offer made last year to the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan to release the students in exchange for 16 Boko Haram detainees, the negotiator was further quoted to have said.
“The man, who was involved in negotiations with Boko Haram last year and is close to current negotiators, spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters on this sensitive issue,” the AP reported.
Presidential adviser Femi Adesina said on Saturday that Nigeria’s government “will not be averse” to talks with Boko Haram. “Most wars, however furious or vicious, often end around the negotiation table,” he said.
The military announced on Wednesday that the suspected mastermind of the Jos and Zaria bombings had been arrested.
This followed security cordon and search of the general areas of Bauchi and Gombe states by a combined team of soldiers and personnel of the Department of State Security Service (DSS).
Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, who disclosed this in a statement said that “the arrested terrorists are currently being processed for further action and would soon face the full wrath of the law.”
He said that following the recent incidents, the military security cordon was by troops of the 3 Division and Special Task Force, as well as the Department of State Services.
He said: “This culminated in the successful arrest of the mastermind of the heinous terrorist acts and two of his accomplices at a checkpoint in Dadin Kowa, Gombe State. The terrorist kingpin and his colleagues who disguised in a trailer while trying to evade checks were fished out by troops of Nigerian Army.”
Col. Usman recalled that on Sunday 5th July 2015, suspected Boko Haram terrorists carried out coordinated bomb and gun attacks on worshippers at Ýan Taya mosque, Dillimi Street, off Bauchi Road, Jos where the holy month of Ramadan tafsir was holding. Another attack at Shagalinku Restaurant, along Bauchi Road, Jos, Plateau State which led to the death of over 48 persons, injuring several other persons and destruction of property.
Similarly, the terrorists carried out another bomb attack on hapless workers undergoing verification exercise at the Sabon Gari Local Government Secretariat, Zaria, Kaduna State which resulted in the death of over 25 people including a two-year-old child and destruction of property.
He urged the general public to be more vigilant, security conscious and to report any suspicious persons, movements, and facilities to security agencies.