Islamic scholar, Professor Dauda Mohammed Bello of Adamawa State University has expressed doubts over the genuineness of the ceasefire the deal announced by the federal government on October 17, warning that the government may be dealing with a wrong group.
“When I listen to the representative of the Boko Haram group in the ceasefire deal, I doubt if he is a true Boko Haram member,” said Bello, an Imam of Jama’atu Nasril Islam, Adamawa State headquarters in an interview with Vanguard in Yola.
“From his words, one can guess that he is not actually a true Boko Haram member because the true Boko Haram will not call themselves Boko Haram; they have their own name which is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’Awati Wal-Jihad (People committed to the Prophet’s teachings for propagation and Jihad). And anytime they talk, they refer to Allah but that representative refers to the association as Boko Haram; that word is enough to disqualify him from being the true Boko Haram member.
“Also, he called President Goodluck Jonathan ‘our President’ in his speech, but the real Boko Haram member would not recognise President Jonathan as their president,” Bello pointed out.
According to him, the actual Boko Haram might have actually finished, as it appears what we havve now are “sponsored groups that no longer have religion as their aim and these are those opportunists who see that people are not living in peace so they want to cash in on that”.
Vice-Chancellor of Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola and Chairman of the Centre for Peace and Security Studies, Professor Kyari Mohammed however expressed optimism that the ongoing negotiation between the Boko Haram and the FG will be fruitful.
“I want to believe that the people who handled the negotiation on the side of government were sincere. I want to also believe that at least they talked to some sections of the Boko Haram but you know, there is bound to be problem. This problem is not peculiar to Boko Haram and Nigerian government. Governments all over the world that need to talk to groups such as Boko Haram, would have to contend with some sections of the group that are not going to be very happy with any form of settlement.
“So naturally, it may work but it will take a lot of patience on both sides. In all parts of the world, whenever you come into this kind of agreement, there would be sections both within the government and among the insurgents that will be very unhappy with a peaceful resolution of the crisis. So for the truce to work, both government and the insurgents will have to be very patient,” Mohammed said.