The Nigerian state has confirmed it is in dialogue with Boko Haram leadership to develop and sign a ceasefire agreement in the coming days. Announced just days after alleged Boko Haram members attacked a boarding school in northern Nigeria, slaying 42 school children and teachers, the ceasefire is not the first to be agreed upon by the two parties. In January of this year, Boko Haram offered and subsequently violated a ceasefire agreement with the Nigerian state, eliminating all odds of an amnesty deal for Boko Haram militants and predating the declaration of a state of emergency. An extremist Islamic sect established in 2009, Boko Haram has waged a four-year insurgency to establish a separate Islamic state in northern Nigeria, slaying Christian pastors and targeting minority Christian business and villages.
7/12/2013 Nigeria (allAfrica) — The Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of the Security Challenges in the North has said that the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, is involved in the current ceasefire deal.
The chairman of the committee and Special Duties Minister, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, who disclosed this to State House correspondents in Abuja after yesterday’s Federal Executive Council meeting, said though the ceasefire was not declared in a video, it could be relied on as his committee had been discussing with the right leadership of the sect.
According to him, “When a minister speaks on behalf of the federal government, you wouldn’t say you must see the president or the vice president there. We’ve spoken with somebody who is second in command as far as Boko Haram is concerned, and he has informed the media that he has been discussing with us with full knowledge and authority of Imam Abubakar Shekau. So, we’ve no cause to doubt him. We’ve done checks on him just as they (the sect) have done checks on us also, and we’ve realised that yes, we’re dealing with the proper people and with the proper leadership of the organisation”.
Assuring that all Nigerians would be privy to a ceasefire agreement that would be signed in due course, Turaki said: “We’re still working on the framework where we’ll sign an agreement and we’ll make that public. Wherever and whenever we agree on the time and place, the international and local media as well as all Nigerians will be privy to it.”
He said the terms of the ceasefire agreement were still being worked on and the broader framework being discussed, after which Nigerians would be duly informed.
Speaking further, Turaki said the sect opted for ceasefire having been convinced that the committee was not out to set a trap for them.
The sect, he added, also considered the Ramadan period and deemed it fit to give peace a chance.
The minister, however, said despite the declaration and announcement of ceasefire, the ongoing emergency rule in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States have to remain.