Posted by News Express | 9 July 2013 | 4,205 times
A member of the presidential committee on amnesty for Boko Haram has given an insight into how they were able to get the Islamic insurgents who have waged a murderous four-year war against Nigeria to agree to a ceasefire.
The source, according to the Lagos-based Vanguard newspaper, disclosed that the Boko Haram leadership under Abubakar Shekau set traps for the committee but became won over when it became convinced of the sincerity of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration in seeking peace with the group.
“Shekau’s leadership came out through several fronts and set traps for us. The government gave them confidence, the confidence led to trust and they said they will call their men to cease-fire and they have done so,” Vanguard quoted the unnamed committee member as saying.
Both the Nigerian Government and a high-ranking Boko Haram member have confirmed the ceasefire agreement announced exactly 82 days after President Jonathan raised a 25-man committee to work out modalities for granting the amnesty to the sect whose war to Islamise Nigeria has claimed about 4,000 lives and destroyed properties worth billions of naira. The breakthrough came within the 90 days deadline given to the committee (officially known as the Peace and Dialogue Committee in the North) by President Jonathan to seal a deal with Boko Haram.
Announcing the ceasefire agreement yesterday, Minister of Special Duties and Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki, said on the Hausa Service of Radio France International: “We have sat down and agreed that Jama’atu Ahlul Sunnah Lidda’awati wal Jihad, known as Boko Haram will lay down their arms as part of the agreement so as to end the insurgency. Government agreed with ceasefire and will look into ways to ensure that the troops relax their activities till the final take off of the ceasefire.”
The ceasefire announced on the eve of the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan was corroborated by Imam Muhammadu Marwana, an influential member of Boko Haram, who said: “This ceasefire, insha Allahu, from the time I am talking to you (Radio France Hausa Service) we have ceasefire because of the discussion held so as to have peace over this struggle.”
Marwana appealed “to those who lost their loved ones to our activities to forgive us and on our side we have forgiven all those who committed atrocities against us.”
He however vehemently denied Boko Haram’s involvement in Sunday morning’s murder of 30 boarding students of a secondary school in Yobe, North-East Nigeria.
“I want to state clearly that we have no hands in the unfortunate attack on the secondary school,” the Boko Haram stalwart said.
•Photo shows President Jonathan with the Boko Haram amnesty committee on the day of its inauguration.
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