Boko Haram denies ceasefire as explosion kills 3
The ceasefire recently declared by a faction of the Jama’atu Ahlil Sunna Lida’awati Wal Jihad, better known as Boko Haram, was disputed yesterday as the spiritual leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, distanced his group from the ceasefire deal.
Controversy over the disputed ceasefire also heightened as it coincided with a deadly bomb explosion which went off at the Post Office road, in Maiduguri metropolis, killing the suspected suicide bomber and two civilians.
This came less than a month after one Abu Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Aziz, claiming to be the commander of the sect, coordinating its activities in the northern and southern Borno senatorial districts, said the group entered into a dialogue with the state government and resolved to suspend all violent campaigns for peace to prevail.
The latest position of the sect, which threw fears among residents, was contained in a pamphlet pasted in some areas of the capital city.
Residents of the affected areas comprising Hausari, Gwnage and old Maiduguri Wards, told newsmen that they woke up yesterday morning only to find the publications posted on mosques and electric pole wires.
The pamphlets, which were written in Hausa, according to the residents, read in part: “This is a message from Imam Abubakar Shekau over the purported dialogue we reportedly entered with government and subsequent declaration of a unilateral ceasefire. We wish to categorically refute such claims as unfounded as there was never a time such a false incident occured between government and us, either directly or indirectly”.
The statement also alleged that those behind the so-called truce had only intended to deceive the general public on the actual activities of the sect for selfsh interest.
“It is untrue that we sat with government officials and decided to abandon our cause under an atmosphere that is unfavourable to us and our family”. Our wives, children, relations and anyone close to us are being arrested and harassed by security operatives, so how can we dialogue with government when its agents are after us?”, the statement further concluded.
The Joint Military Task Force, (JTF), has equally confirmed the circulation of the pamphlets, urging residents to disregard them.
Spokesman of the JTF, Lt-Col. Sagir Musa, in a statement issued to newsmen said: The attention of the JTF has been drawn to some leaflets allegedly printed and circulated by Boko Haram terrorists containing message from their leader, Abubakar Shekau threatening and warning government, civil servants, politicians, traditional rulers and security agencies that the sect has not made any reconciliation with the government and that it has not declared any ceas fire”.
“The task force wishes to inform law abiding members of the public to totally disregard such publication and consider it as part of the terrorists’ propaganda and strategies to keep the civil populace in captivity and perpetual fear with the view to unleashing more terror on them”.
On the blast, the statement, hinted that a suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device, (IED), targeting JTF patrol vehicle.
“In a related development, an IED targeted at JTF patrol team exploded at the Post Office round about in Maiduguri metropolis at about 1.pm yesterday), the explosion led to the death of three civilians including the bomber and wounded two others. A JTF vehicle was damaged,” it further added.
The task force, however reiterated its determination to ensure the maintenance of law, order and safety of lives and property of all law abiding residents in the state.