Imam Muhammadu Marwana, an influential member of the Islamist sect Boko Haram led by Abubakar Shekau, 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.
“We are seeking forgiveness from the people over the number of people killed in the country,” Marwana said.
“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 (Government Secondary School, Mamudo, Yobe State).”
Speaking further, Imam Muhammadu Marwana said: “This ceasefire, Insha’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.”
The Federal Government, had yesterday, said that it had signed a ceasefire agreement with the militant group, with the Minister of Special Duties and Chairman of the Peace and Dialogue Committee in the North, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki announcing the ceasefire agreement on the Hausa service of Radio France International monitored in Kano.
The truce is apparently not unconnected with the commencement of the Muslim fast, as the announcement came on the eve of the Holy month of Ramadan expected to commence today throughout the world.
Turaki who spoke on RFI in Hausa also 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, known as 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.
On how the agreement was reached, a member of the presidential committee told Vanguard, “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.”