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Published On: Mon, Nov 3rd, 2014

As terror rages despite ceasefire deal !

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According to the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria; the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary responsibility of government. It shall be the sole responsibility of the government of Nigeria to ensure the safety and protection of lives and properties of the citizens, however Evelyn Okakwu examines the issues.

Nonetheless, the prevailing trend within Nigeria’s democracy has not only doused, the likelihood of the present government’s ability to fully meet up with that responsibility; it has also threatened the very foundation of Nigeria’s unity.

On the 14th of April a major negation from the culture of peace and tranquility was experienced across the country when shortly after a Bomb blast in the federal capital that killed lots of unsuspecting people, another set of unsuspecting young girls were taken away from their school, without trace of where they had been taken, or when they would be found.

The stories of campaigns after campaigns; seeking the return of the Chibok girls have remained on the stables of Nigerian media, since the abduction.

On 17 October 2014, hopes were raised that the 219 remaining girls might soon be released after the Nigerian army announced a truce between Boko Haram and government forces.

The announcement coincided with the six-month anniversary of the girls’ capture and followed a month of negotiations mediated in Saudi Arabia by Chadian president, Idriss Deby.

A senior public affairs aide to the president, Doyin Okupe, told the media that Boko Haram leadership is on board with the truce and that the violence experienced after the announcement of the truce ware perpetrated by “fringe groups” of fighters who likely had not gotten word of the agreement.

The announcement was, however, met with doubts because it wasn’t the first time the Nigerian government had claimed a breakthrough in negotiations with the Islamic militant group. It had to backtrack on a previous announcement in September after saying the girls had been released and were being held in military barracks.

Consequently, Nigerians and stake holders variously expressed their displeasure with the manner of falsehood seemingly depicted by the story.

In a recent report a group, the under the auspices of the Citizens Arise Movement of Nigeria (CAMN) described the Cease fire agreement reached by the Federal Government and the Boko Haram insurgency group as another phase in the series of lies allegedly emanating from the Presidency since the kidnap of over 200 girls in Chibok Local Government Area (LGA) Maiduguri, April this year. Speaking to journalists during a rally to protest what it described as government’s inability to respond to fundamental national issues, a leader of the group, Dino Melaye said; “The so called cease fire agreement is another phase of a series of lies. Government said, when these girls were kidnapped that they had returned safely home, remaining only 8 of them; that was a lie. Government also said that they knew where the girls were. That was also another lie; then they said that they had embarked on a series fire agreement and that the girls would hopefully return to their homes on Monday; this too is another obvious lie. We are all students of security and terror education and we know that when there is such an agreement; the certain factors are; accurate time and place of all the necessary exchange. So this is another prove that this government’s words should not be taken seriously,” he added. Melaye also stated that given the account of government on the said agreement, the Chad Government is expected to be the one to tell Nigeria when the Chibok girls should have been released. “Yet up till this moment, nothing like that has been heard of, from the Government of Chad.” Similarly, the BBC gave its account of the consequence of failure from Government, following the pace of attacks after the said announcement when it that Nigeria may have been severely hoodwinked by a con man.

Also according to Bill Humphrey; Author of Arsenal for Democracy blog; ‘There was never a truce; just so we are clear.” In the report

published under the aforementioned quote; certain features described as red flags were highlighted, which pointed to the fact that the said truce, may have indeed been nothing but fallacy.

The red flags include the following; “Chad’s president is supposedly mediating. He has declared war on Boko Haram, so it makes basically no sense that he would be mediating.

Danladi Ahmadu is supposedly representing Abubakar Shekau, even though Nigeria’s government and military claimed less than one month ago to have killed Abubakar Shekau.

Why does Danladi Ahmadu have a very non-Muslim first name if he’s supposedly representing a hardline Islamic extremist group? Why has no one ever heard of him before?”

The blog further claimed that the red flags were highlighted by a Nigerian Journalist based abroad named Ahmad Salkida. The following is an extract of the tweeted conversation of Salkida and Arsenal For

Democracy blog “Where in the world will a government say they killed Shekau, two weeks later, met a delegation sent by the same Shekau to discuss a ceasefire? Some people claim Shekau is a title and ‘Boko Haram’ always finds his look-alike to assume Shekau each time they kill him? Haba! When we said Shekau was alive two weeks ago, we were nearly crucified here. Now the Federal Government agrees Danladi Ahmadu speaks for Shekau? Is Shekau mutating?”

Mr. Salkida continued: “I challenge Danladi Ahmadu to an open debate if he has the interest of Nigeria at heart. Who is he? Where was he pre-2009? Why is he leading this? The name Danladi, according to ‘Boko Haram’ ideology, is ‘filthy.’ It refers to ‘someone born on Sunday,’ unlike the norm of picking strictly Muslim names. Sadly, no town taken by BH has been reclaimed by Nigerian troops beyond media-derived hype.

Show us the video or pictures. Take reporters there. Simple”.

“I don’t care if it is the Chadian President Idriss Deby or whoever; Danladi Ahmadu is NOT part of ‘Boko Haram’ Shura (governing council) nor speaks for them as far as I know. It also appears that government is more interested in shadows and bubbles, than in substance and clearheaded engagement with the ‘Boko Haram’ ideology.”

Although the Nigerian Government has attempted to defend itself against these various critics, the current trend in Mubi, a metropolitan town in Adamawa state, has only heightened the doubts about any possible agreement ever reached between government ad the Boko Haram Terror group.

According toi the reports, Mubi was taken over by the terror group after a gun battle with the Nigerian Police Force, whom they defeated and sent residents into nearby jungles, during a conversation with a HND 2 student of the department of Business administration from the school, who spoke on the grounds of anonymity, she confirmed that her sister who was still within the school premises when the Terrorists attacked the area had to flee to a bush, somewhere around the niegbourhood. “My dear, the school has been taken over. I was spared because I am at home, I stayed back, since I am already through with my project. I am so afraid. My sister said that the roots leading out of the jungle where they are hiding have also been taken over by the terrorists. Only God will save my sister and friends”.

Shortly after; her sister spoke in a low tone; “We just heard gun shots and ran for our lives”

Do you know if the security forces are anywhere close? “I cannot tell”

Have you found any possible way out? “No we fear that the whole place has been surrounded.”

Mubi town is still under the grip of the terror group, and efforts to again discourse with the student and her friends in the jungle, during press time proved abortive.

While some may describe these attacks as an act of mischief against government, the manner of response from government will go a long way to emphasise government commitment to the plight of the mass of Nigerian people, mostly affected by the mayhem.

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