According to the Boko haram sect “We are seeking forgiveness from the people over the number of people killed in the country".
With these words, Imam Muhammadu Marwana, an influential member of the Abubakar Shekau-led Boko Haram sect, yesterday, confirmed a ceasefire agreement with the Federal Government to end their deadly activities across most states of Northern Nigeria, which have claimed about 4,000 lives and destroyed properties worth billions of Naira since 2009.
The agreement came exactly 82 days after the Federal Government raised a 25-man committee to work out modalities for granting the amnesty to the sect.
The Federal Government, yesterday, said that it had signed a ceasefire agreement with the militant group. Minister of Special Duties and Chairman of the Peace and Dialogue Committee in the North, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki announced the ceasefire agreement on the Hausa service of Radio France International monitored in Kano.
The announcement came on the eve of the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan expected to commence today throughout the world.
Although details of the peace deal were sketchy, Turaki who spoke in Hausa further said that the Boko Haram insurgents had agreed to lay down their arms.
“We have sat down and agreed that Jama’atu Ahlul Sunnah Lidda’awati wal Jihad, (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,” Turaki told his interviewers.
Confirming the truce, and sounding apologetic, Imam Muhammadu Marwana said:
A member of the Presidential Amnesty Committee, said “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.”
Although, many Nigerians have received the news with mixed feelings and skeptical optimism, the National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, Gani Adams said it is a step in the right direction.
Arewa youths still believe that the Federal Government must address the issues that led to the Boko Haram insurgency in the first place.
Although it seemed like Boko Haram had agreed to a ceasefire earlier in the year, it did not take long before it was obvious that the ceasefire was porous. After the many lives lost and properties destroyed, Nigerians, pray that this so called ceasefire will last and that cases of bomb blasts, suicide bombings, and random attacks will be a thing of the past.
"This ceasefire, in sha’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. We are seeking forgiveness from the people over the number of people killed in the country.I appeal 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.
“I want to state clearly that we have no hands in the unfortunate attack on the secondary school.”