The Nigerian government on October 17, 2014, Friday, claimed to have reached a deal with Islamist Boko Haram sect on the ceasefire and the release of more than 200 abducted Chibok schoolgirls.
BREAKING Nigeria's military, presidency claims deal with Boko Haram on ceasefire, release of girls
Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff Alex Badeh has ordered all the service chiefs to fulfill with the ceasefire agreement between Nigeria and Boko Haram group in all the stages of operations.
The text went out after Danladi Ahmadu, who names himself the secretary-general of Boko Haram, told VOA that the cease-fire agreement had been reached.
“A ceasefire agreement has been concluded between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad (Boko Haram),” Chief of Defence Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh declared.
Distinctly, President Goodluck Jonathan’s Principal Secretary Hassan Tukur said that an agreement to end conflicts had been reached following talks, as well as the release of 219 girls held captive since April.
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Mr Ahmad Salkida, the only Nigerian journalist who is believed to have direct contacts with Boko Haram, reacted to the news via his Twitter, saying:
"I guess Nigerians are tired and at such, any news that offers respite on this protracted war between Nigeria and Boko Haram is always welcomed.
“Sadly anybody that demised such good news becomes Nigeria's enemy. But the leadership of Boko Haram is said to be miffed that a nation of the profile ideology and magnitude of Nigeria, what high level of intelligent people is being easily encased in deceit and nobody seems to be asking tough questions.
“What is most worrying here is government at the highest level and the intelligence formations in Nigeria has embraced this 'good news.
“This shows lack of understanding of the reality that this is an ideology that can only be neutralised after long hard work that is yet to start,” he added.
“It also appears that government is more interested in shadows and bubbles, than in substance and clear headed engagement with the Boko Haram ideology.”
Boko Haram was represented by Danladi Ahmadu. He was described by Tukur as Boko Haram's representative at the negotiations.
Multiple analysts cast doubt on Ahmadu's reliability as a Boko Haram representative. Moreover, Nigeria has made similar ceasefire claims in the past which failed to materialise.
"I have never heard of such a man (Ahmadu) and if Boko Haram wanted to declare a ceasefire it would come from the group's leader Abubakar Shekau," said Shehu Sani, a Boko Haram expert who has negotiated with the group before on behalf of the government.
"This whole thing is hoax. Ahmadu is not a part of Boko Haram," said another source with intimate knowledge of the group, adding that Abubakar Shekau should have been present at the meeting himself to make it and the agreements reached during the talks more credible.
The Principal Private Secretary to the President, Ambassador Hassan Tukur, met with Chadian Government officials as well as representatives of the Boko Haram sect in N’Djamena, Chad, on Friday.
Boko Haram has said it is fighting to establish an Islamic state in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria.
The group has launched scores of attacks in the past five years, targeting markets, bus stations, government facilities, churches and even mosques. Militants recently took over some towns in the northeast for what the group's leader said would be an Islamic caliphate.