ABUJA—Negotiations between the Federal Government and representatives of the Boko Harm Islamic sect on the release of 219 abducted Chibok girls will continue today in Chad. This came as government declared that it had no reason to doubt the sect’s promise to release the girls against the backdrop of alleged breach of ceasefire agreement by the sect.
Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, last Friday, announced that Boko Haram had agreed to a ceasefire and instructed all the field commanders of the troops to observe the ceasefire.
A military source: “It is true that the sect demanded the release of some of their fighters and the Federal Government is ready to meet some of their conditions to secure the girls’ freedom.. There are high hopes that the girls will be released; the military is ready to move in and bring out the girls when this is done. Already, the Federal Government has put machinery in motion to receive the girls once they are released.”
On the ceasefire agreement reached by the terrorists and Military, the source said that so far, the military is maintaining its part of the agreement, adding that the attacks allegedly carried out by the group in Borno and Adamawa at the weekend were being investigated to ascertain those responsible.
Following the ceasefire agreement announced by the Chief of Defence Staff, the Defence headquarters has put Commanders of troops in the epicenter of the insurgency on standby as there were indications that the over 200 girls of the Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, Borno State, abducted in April 2014, by the terrorists group would be released tomorrow.
Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mr. Mike Omeri, at the weekend, confirmed that negotiations were going on with Boko Haram “especially as it concerns release of the Chibok girls and the general insecurity in the North East and also the need to rescue all other captives of the terrorists. Already, the terrorists have announced a ceasefire in furtherance of their desire for peace. In this regard, the government of Nigeria has, in similar vein, declared ceasefire”.
No more comments — PDP
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muazu said, yesterday, that he has handed over critics of the Federal Government on the issue of the girls to God.
Muazu accused the opposition of politicising the matter, saying that the PDP will no longer answer critics on the issue.
On his twitter account, yesterday, Muazu said: “We will refrain from making further comments on this issue but let Allah judge all of us on this issue of #PoliticsOfChibok. The opposition had crossed the line on the Chibok abduction and many other issues, it is no longer necessary to join issues with them. It is true that in politics, all game is fair game, but there are certain lines that should never be crossed and one of such is the Chibok issue.
“We were told a certain political party has turned the plight of our abducted Chibok daughters to a political issue. How very sad. Dear Nigerians, our great party is tired of responding to pettiness, lies and propaganda. We have better things to do than that.”
Gunmen sack Adamawa village
In a related development, gunmen suspected to be insurgents have attacked Sina Village in Michika Local Government area of Adamawa State.
The attack, according to residents, occurred Saturday night as the insurgents in their hundreds emerged from the bush and started killing and burning houses, cars, domestic animals and other property.
A community leader in Michika, Dr. Caleb Filli said the insurgents burnt down all houses in the village, forcing residents to flee.
According to him, the gunmen in their hundreds descended on the village shooting indiscriminately and burning houses. He said he could not ascertain the number of those killed at press time.
Michika and Madagali areas had been under the control of Boko Haram insurgents since early September, even as efforts by the military to retake them, have proved abortive.
Dr. Filli called on the Federal Government to ensure that the ceasefire agreement includes the withdrawal of Boko Haram fighters from the areas they occupy, adding that the ceasefire will not be meaningful unless it paves way for residents to return to their homes.
He lamented the suffering of thousands of displaced residents living as refugees in other places, leaving behind their farms and businesses.”