The Kabiru Tanimu Turaki-led Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of the Security Challenges in the North has said that the current ceasefire deal with Boko Haram has the blessings of the sect’s leader, Sheik Abubakar Shekau.
Turaki, who is the Minster of Special Duties, disclosed this to State House correspondents in Abuja after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting.
He said though the ceasefire was not recorded on video, it could be relied upon as his committee had been discussing with the right leadership of the sect.
“When a minister speaks on behalf of the federal government, you wouldn’t say you must see the president or the vice president there. We’ve spoken with somebody who is second in command as far as Boko Haram is concerned, and he has informed the media that he has been discussing with us with full knowledge and authority of Imam Abubakar Shekau. So, we’ve no cause to doubt him. We’ve done checks on him just as they (the sect) have done checks on us also, and we’ve realised that yes, we’re dealing with the proper people and with the proper leadership of the organisation” he said.
Giving assurance that all Nigerians would be privy to a ceasefire agreement that would be signed in due course, Turaki said: “We’re still working on the framework where we’ll sign an agreement and we’ll make that public. Wherever and whenever we agree on the time and place, the international and local media as well as all Nigerians will be privy to it.”
On the terms of the ceasefire agreement, the minister said it was still being worked on and the broader framework being discussed, after which Nigerians would be duly informed.
Speaking further, Turaki said the sect embraced the option for a ceasefire having been convinced that the committee was sincere in its dealings with them.
The sect, he added, also considered the Ramadan period and deemed it fit to give peace a chance.
However, the minister disclosed that despite the declaration and announcement of ceasefire, the ongoing emergency rule in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States will still be in effect.
Turaki, who noted that his committee was also aware of a splinter group known as Ansaru, said: “…and we’re also making efforts by the special grace of God. I’ll still urge all Nigerians to continue to pray for us like they’ve been doing. I think it’s the result of their prayer that has given us this mileage that we’ve achieved. So, we’re on it, we’re not relenting as a committee. With the support of Nigerians, we’ll also get to that point very soon”.