Controversial activist known for his numerous skirmishes with the law and his frequent imprisonment during various administrations due to his pro-democracy campaigns has entered the spotlight due to his decision to run for public office, winning a senatorial candidacy position under the APC party structure.
The adoption of this candidate is certainly a risk for the APC party and a choice worth serious consideration of due to his history of dangerous advocacy. It is said that not all activism is justified and righteous and not all activists make sense and are on the right path.
Shehu Sani who has been a top advocate for negotiations and an amnesty for Boko Haram on more careful review may be a risky asset for Nigeria due to his excessive and fanatical campaigns through the years, on behalf of the terrorist group that has killed thousands of Nigerians.
In his statements Shehu Sani has admitted being in constant touch with senior group members who he canvasses for an amnesty for and the release of their incarcerated members in exchange for abducteees. Shehu Sani compares the Boko Haram situation to Niger Delta terror crises and even to the Taliban who the suspect Qatari government opened an embassy for in a very controversial move.
Shehu Sani commented that the Nigerian government was not serious about negotiations because the Nigerian government proscribed the terrorists, allowed bounties to be put on the leaders heads and other actions; suggesting that these harsh actions against the terrorists were counter negotiation. The activist further confessed that he actually in the past told Boko Haram to make press releases which they obeyed him.
The activist as recorded in the video below is eager to be the chief negotiator to negotiate and handle an all perks, “billion naira” amnesty for the terrorist organisation if such were to have been granted. He suggested people like himself as a recognized group sympathizer as preferred negotiators over the Sultan of Sokoto, or others who may have condemned the group.
His links with the terrorists are very questionable and difficult to digest. The activist is known for promising that Boko Haram will release videos shortly to defend their positions, for instance, to deny the death of their leader, or deny a ceasefire, etc in what has been regarded as punctual publicity for the group. He even categorically states what names are leaders in the group and what names cannot be in the group as spokespersons.
Shehu Sani: “I have never heard of such a man (Ahmadu) and if Boko Haram wanted to declare a ceasefire it would come from the group’s leader Abubakar Shekau,” said Shehu Sani, a Boko Haram expert who has negotiated with the group before on behalf of the government.” – See more
Read Shehu Sani Argue For Boko Haram
By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North, Vanguard
Shehu Sani: How can the insurgents come out and enter the open door of the amnesty when there is a price tag on the head of the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, by the United States, which was also supported by the Nigerian government? How can the insurgents enter the open door of the amnesty when already there is an anti-terrorism law that outlaws the group and criminalises any form of communication with its members?What do you make of the speech by President Jonathan to crush Boko Haram and also give them amnesty?
The speech of Mr. President is full of contradictions. On one hand he is saying that is has declared to total war against Boko Haram and on the other, he is saying the door for amnesty is still open for the insurgents.
How can the insurgents embrace the open door provided by the amnesty when there is a state of emergency in places that will go after any insurgent that rears his head up? How can the insurgents embrace the amnesty when Nigeria sponsored the resolution at the United Nations that blacklisted the group?
How can the insurgents avail themselves of amnesty when Nigeria invited the United States, Israel, France and Britain, whose drones are already hovering over their heads? I think what we have is a President that is confused and does not know how to handle the Boko Haram situation.
Why did your previous efforts to bring the Boko Haram members to the negotiation table fail?
There were two or three attempts to negotiate with the insurgents. They all collapsed because the government changed its mind at the end of every deal.
Negotiating with insurgents
When we travelled to Maiduguri with former President Olussegun Obasanjo, we came back with some suggestions and advice from the insurgents themselves on how to end the violence. But when we took the suggestions of the insurgents to the government, they threw it away.
At that time, it was the then National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Andrew Azazi, who felt that they were on top of the situation and that they were determined to crush the insurgency once and for all. As such, we were humiliated and disappointed by the action of the government.
The second attempt was the one that Dr. Ahmed Datti made in his capacity as the representative of the Boko Harm group. He too was frustrated and disappointed by the same government.- See more
Experts opine that Shehu Sani is either a spokesperson and leader for the group, or a desperate and dangerous person or hopelessly misguided and confused. Boko Haram continues to utilize him and another so-called negotiator and ‘journalist,’ Ahmed Salkida for their publicity and promotion. NewsRescue has visited Salkida’s utility by the group here: The Media and Government are Nigeria’s Worst Terrorists