Boko Haram Will Allegedly Release Chibok Girls This Monday

Boko Haram Will Allegedly Release Chibok Girls This Monday

Reportedly, Boko Haram sect may release on Monday ,over 200 abducted Chibok girls who were taken  6 months ago as the Federal Government and the sect made a ceasefire agreement yesterday, October 17.

The deal was made through the Nigerian military and was announced by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh.

The military has struggled to defeat Boko Haram sect since 2009. The Islamist militant group sparked global outrage six months ago by abducting more than 200 girls from the town of Chibok in Borno State.

According to Badeh, "a ceasefire agreement has been concluded between the Federal Government and the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal Jihad (Boko Haram)".

The President’s Principal Secretary, Hassan Tukur, told BBC Africa that an agreement that was reached after one month of negotiations in Saudi Arabia, to end the Boko Haram hostilities had been reached after talks with the sect.

He said: “The Boko Haram members have assured us that they have the girls and that they will release them. I am cautiously optimistic.”

Tukur and Danladi Ahmadu, who calls himself the Secretary-General of Boko Haram, told VOA’s Hausa-language service that the abducted girls would be released on Monday in Chad.

The girls are alive and “in good condition and unharmed,” according to Ahmadu.

In exchange for the schoolgirls, the group had demanded the release of detained extremists.

Reportedly, the Defence Headquarters directed all service chiefs to stop further offensive against the Boko Haram sect. Badeh stated this after a three-day bilateral conference between Nigeria’s military leaders and Cameroon which focused on the coordination of trans-border military operations between the two countries.

Badeh said: “Without any prejudice to the outcome of our three days interactions, and the conclusions of this forum, I wish to inform this audience that a ceasefire agreement has been concluded between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Allul Sunna Li Daawa Waj Jihad.

“I have accordingly directed the service chiefs to ensure immediate compliance with this development in the field.”

Decisions reached at the conference include joint border patrol, intelligence sharing and how to handle internally displaced persons.

According to the Punch, the Ministry of Special Duties led by Saminu Turaki and the Office of the National Security Adviser played a crucial role in the realisation of the ceasefire agreement.

As an intelligence source said, the decision to negotiate in earnest with the Boko Haram was taken during the President Jonathan’s meeting with his Chadian counterpart, Mr. Idris Derby, in Ndjamena, on Monday, September 8, 2014.

The President together with his National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki; the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson; the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed; and the Director-General of National Space Research and Development Agency, Prof. Seidu Mohammed, visited Chad because of the security dimension to the mission.

Meanwhile, some prominent Nigerians have expressed divergent views over the ceasefire agreement.

The leader of BringBackOurGirls campaign team, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, expressed hope that the ceasefire would be sustained.

Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, had yet to make categorical statement over the ceasefire deal as of the time of filing this report.

Parents of the abducted girls, represented by the BringBackOurGirls coalition, have expressed doubts over the ceasefire arrangement.

The parents noted that there had been similar promise of ceasefire in the past which did not amount to anything, but expressed the hope that the current efforts would yield results and lead to the release of the schoolgirls and other victims.

An analyst for the BBC, Will Ross, said it was a surprising development given the fact that there had not been any indication of negotiations going on between the Federal Government and the militant group.

He said: “Nigerian officials had not given any indication that negotiations with Boko Haram were taking place. Even though there had been rumours of talks in neighbouring Chad, this is a very surprising development. Many Nigerians are extremely sceptical about the announcement especially as there has been no definitive word from the jihadists."


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