Posted by News Express | 4 November 2014 | 3,642 times
It was widely celebrated by excited government officials as the magic pill that will end the Boko Haram insurgency and bring back the over 200 abducted girls.
But the “ceasefire” between the Federal Government and the deadly sect has turned out a huge scam.
The girls are not back and Boko Haram continues its killing spree.
A government official yesterday gave an insight into how the government “fell” for the “phantom ceasfire”.
The Federal Government accepted the ‘ceasefire’ because of the involvement of Chadian President, Idris Derby with the tacit support of the United States and France, the official told The Nation yesterday.
President Goodluck Jonathan and top security chiefs will today brief the Council of State on the new approach to confront the insurgents.
Now the government has realised that it was “hasty” in announcing the ceasefire negotiations.
According to the source, who pleaded not to be named because he is not allowed to talk to the media, the President last Tuesday agreed with National Security Council members that the insurgents holding the Northeast to ransom be confronted headlong.
The source said the President will brief the Council of State today – in line with the Third Schedule Part 1, Section 6(b) of the 1999 Constitution.
The Section says: “The Council of State shall have power to advise the President whenever requested to do so on the maintenance of public order within the Federation or any part thereof and on such matters as the President may direct.”
The source said: “At the security council meeting last Tuesday, the President said the military should resume the offensive to clear the insurgents from all the towns and villages they had been attacking.
“We do not have the luxury of time; we have reached a point that we have to resume the offensive. We may have to use force to mow down everything. We do not have the luxury of time.
“I know we can win the battle against the insurgents. We will reach a point where we have to draw the line because we are not supported by anybody.
“So far, I can confidently tell you that up to Madagali in Adamawa State was cleared as at weekend.”
Pressed to clarify, the source said: “This directive will not amount to a violation of ceasefire because those we are negotiating have even described those killing our people in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe as ‘criminal elements.’
The source also gave on insight into how the Federal Government got entangled in the “bogus ceasefire” which the leader of Jama’atul Ahlul Sunnah Lida’awati Wal Jahad, Imam Abubakar Shekau disowned on Friday in a video.
The source said: “You know the government said it would explore all venues (including negotiation) to bring the insurgency to an end and ensure the return of the abducted Chibok school girls.
“The genesis of the negotiation in Chad was that Boko Haram wrote two letters to Chadian President Idris Derby for ceasefire negotiation. On the basis of the offer, President Goodluck Jonathan went to Chad. That was the only reason he went.
“We were interested in the peace offer; we could not second guess whether it would work or not because this is the first time a foreign Head of State will be involved in such.
“We did not subject the ceasefire offer to scrutiny because of the involvement of President Derby. The Chadian President spoke with the Nigerian Government, he also spoke with the United States which also sought some clarifications from its Embassy in Nigeria.
“If the ceasefire negotiation process was not credible, the Americans would have told us that it was not so.
“You will recall that at a point, President Barack Obama asked both sides to respect the ceasefire. What was on everybody’s mind was to secure the release of the Chibok girls.”
The source added: “The mistake we made was to announce the ceasefire before we completed the process. But with a foreign President and other nations involved, it was difficult to fault it. If we had rejected the ceasefire offer from Chad, the same powers will say we were not interested in the release of the Chibok girls.
“The ceasefire appears bogus but we are not losing hope. There are issues around Ahmadu Danladi coordinating the ceasefire in Chad.
“First, there was no communication intercept between him and the sect leaders. Secondly, he referred to them as Boko Haram instead of Jama’atul Ahlul Sunnah Lida’awati Wal Jahad; and thirdly he called Shekau by name instead of referring to him as Imam. He probably did not have any serious link with the sect.”
Asked of the status of the ceasefire, the source simply said: “Supposedly ongoing with Chadian officials.”
The source, however, said it was not the first time some volunteers would approach the government on how to address the insurgency and secure the release of the Chibok girls.
The source added: “Just last week, a governor brought somebody who can help free the girls. They said we should go and meet somewhere for the sect to bring the Chibok girls.
“The offers come differently but this is the first one that involved a foreign Head of State.”
•Credit: THE NATION. Photo shows Boko Haram insurgents.
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