Boko Haram wants to enter into a “genuine and comprehensive dialogue” with the Nigerian government, according to a Nigerian NGO that says the militant group has approached it and asked it to mediate.

“The recent statement by President Muhammadu Buhari regarding the government’s readiness to negotiate with credible members of the sect has rekindled hopes for dialogue,” Yusuf Anas, executive secretary of the Abuja-based Center for Crisis Communication (CCC), an NGO, told reporters on Tuesday.

“The center views this gesture as good,” Anas, a retired air commodore, said. “It has opened a window of opportunity for dialogue for those insurgents that are willing and ready to lay down their arms.”

He went on to say that “some members” of Boko Haram had contacted the CCC and had requested “genuine and comprehensive dialogue” with the government – which, Anas asserted, “could lead to hundreds of them coming out to renounce their membership [in the group].”

The CCC, Anas stressed, believed that “such dialogue should be done with every sense of caution and responsibility, bearing in mind the previous disappointments that attended attempts at negotiations.”

Nevertheless, the retired military officer added, the CCC would “continue to support and encourage all efforts towards bringing the [Boko Haram] insurgency to an end in our country.”

Nigeria's hopes for a peaceful resolution of the six-year-old insurgency were dashed last October after a purported request for dialogue by Boko Haram turned out to be a hoax.