Boko Haram proposes cease-fire; ...calls for peace talks in Saudi Arabia; ...picks Buhari as mediator

The violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, on Thursday indicated its readiness  to end its  campaign of  violence but on the conditions that ex-Borno State Governor Modu Sheriff  was arrested and peace talks held in Saudi Arabia.

Leadership of Jama’atul Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, also called Boko Haram, has named the former Head of State and presidential candidate of Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), among six prominent northerners, to mediate between the group and the Federal Government.

The Federal Government in a statement by Dr. Reuben Abati, Presidential Spokesman, Thursday, welcomed the move.

Spokesman of the group, Abu Mohammed Ibn Abdulazeez, who doubles as the Second-in-Command (Amir) to their leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau, made the group’s intention known in a tele-conference with journalists in Maiduguri, Thursday.

Abdulazeez said other people, who could mediate with the government if its conditions were met, include Dr. Shettima Ali Monguno, former Yobe State governor, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Ambassador Gaji Galtimari and Hajia Aisha Wakil and her husband, Alkali Wakil.

Dialogue venue
He insisted, however, that such dialogue must not take place in Nigeria, but Saudi Arabia.
According to him, the choice of Saudi Arabia was informed by the insincerity of the Nigeria government for dialogue and its betrayal in the past.

Abdulazeez insisted that for the group to ceasefire completely, the government must not only apprehend, but prosecute Senator Modu Sheriff according to the laws of the land as well as compensate members of the group and rebuild their places of worship destroyed during 2009 uprising, which led to the alleged murder of their leader, Mohammed Yusuf.

Conditions for ceasefire
The Boko Haram spokesman further stressed that, all their members, who were arrested and are under the custody of security agencies must be released immediately, just as their wives and children who were displaced following the crises should be rehabilitated into the society to allow room for the much talked about dialogue with the Federal Government.


Commenting on the series of recent killings and destruction of property in Maiduguri, Abu Abdulazeez dissociated Boko Haram from the action, saying such attacks were not only politically-motivated, but carried out by those seeking power in the Borno Emirate council or in government.

He stressed that recent killings and destructions in Maiduguri were against the ideology of the sect, which he said was fighting the cause of Allah.

Abdulazeez also said the burning of old and newly-constructed primary schools witnessed across the state were not carried out by the sect, insisting that they were perpetrated by aggrieved politicians who were denied contracts by the state government.

Last February, the group had also nominated Monguno, Bukar Ibrahim, Aisha Wakil and Jinadu Idris as part of a team to mediate between it and the Federal Government, but the negotiation never got off.