Another long-term negotiator with Boko Haram, Fred Eno said “another window of opportunity opened” in the last few days.
The attempted attack bore the hallmarks of the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, that was behind a wave of violence last week that killed 200 people.
Zaria was also where a French engineer managed to flee his captors in November 2013 after being held for nine months by the Boko Haram offshoot Ansaru. Nigerian law requires charges be brought after 48 hours.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Boko Haram Islamists will be the main suspects, as they have carried out a wave of similar attacks in the past. “Boko Haram is going to have to be countered by a multi-faceted approach that includes an economic, social and political” strategy that makes marginalized Nigerians feel included.
Students join a protest demanding the release of the abducted secondary school girls in the remote village of Chibok, along a road in Lagos May 12, 2014.
The Nigerian military has said it has arrested “the mastermind” behind two recent attacks on the northern towns of Jos and Zaria in which nearly 70 people were killed.
Buhari is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama on July 20.
He met with the Bring Back Our Girls campaigners this week.
Sixty-seven other people were wounded in the attacks Sunday night and were being treated at hospitals, said National Emergency Management Agency coordinator Abdussalam Mohammed.
He gave an assurance that his administration will do its best in collaboration with the Lake Chad Basin Commission to affect the release of the Chibok girls and end terrorism in the country. The country pumps about 2m barrels of oil a day, which account for most of its exports and some 70 per cent of government revenues.
“The president really campaigned on two planks on his platform – restore security in Nigeria and… fight against corruption”, said John Campbell, former USA ambassador to Nigeria.
The military’s statement Wednesday on the arrests didn’t mention Boko Haram by name. The government freed them in May of that year as a goodwill gesture ahead of failed peace talks.
AP noted that Boko Haram has kidnapped hundreds more-girls, boys, women and young men.