Nigeria’s former president Olusegun Obasanjo has reportedly met with intermediaries of Boko Haram in an effort to negotiate the release of some 200 school girls.
The students were kidnapped by the Islamist militants in Chibok in northern Nigeria last month.
News of the talks, which were held of the weekend, broke as Cameroon announced it was deploying some 1000 troops and armoured vehicles to its border with Nigeria to counter the rising threat of attacks from Boko Haram.
Elsewhere, at a stadium in Nigeria’s biggest city Lagos, there were prayers for the hostages following the Nigerian army’s announcement that it knows where the girls are being held. The military has so far ruled out a rescue, claiming it is too risky.
One woman said: ‘‘It’s difficult to imagine that they know where they are and they cannot do anything about it. The news that shocked me was that the militants were negotiating for 100 prisoners, for 50 girls.’‘
Reports suggest that such an agreement to free some of the girls, seen here in a Boko Haram video, was close but Nigeria’s government called off the deal at the last minute.