On October 16, the Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh announced a cease fire between the Nigerian government and the terrorist group Boko Haram which has in the past 5 years killed over 10,000 people mostly in the North Eastern part of Nigeria. Most Nigerians were skeptical of the said agreement. But, Badeh appeared to be certain and said he had ordered his commanders on the ground to cease fire in line with the said agreement with the dreaded terrorist group.
Badeh’s announcement followed a similar announcement by Danladi Ahmadu on Voice of America. Ahmadu described himself as a general secretary of Boko Haram.
Following the said cease fire, there was news that the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls, whose predicament had been in the fore-front of campaigns against terrorism and against the government’s handling of the insurgency, were soon to be released in line with the new path towards peace.
The man in the centre of the supposed ceasefire is Idriss Deby, the president of Chad a former military general, Deby has ruled Chad for 24 years. It now turns out that the Chadian president sold a dummy to the Nigerian government as reports say the Deby is now unreachable to Nigerian government officials and it is unclear if he was fooled by the people who approached him with the cease fire agreement or he was in league with Boko Haram all along.
According to our sources in the Federal Government who are in the know concerning the said ceasefire agreement, the Chadian president approached President Goodluck Jonathan with a request from a man called Danladi Ahmadu who claimed to be Boko Haram’s general secretary. The Chadian president confirmed the authenticity of the contact he had and the genuineness of the intentions of the terrorist group to end hostilities. President Jonathan delegated his Principal Secretary Awwal Tukur to represent the federal government at the negotiation table.
Soon after, the terrorist group has produced a video in which some militants are seen from a long shot, one of them claiming to be Abubakar Shekau and a accompanying voice-over denying the reported ceasefire and saying that Ahmadu is an infidel and has no relationship with Boko Haram.
“Nigerian government officials no longer have access to Déby who is now said to be sick. It appears he set us up to drop our guard and allow Boko Haram to gain ground,” the official said.
Last week, a Nigerian journalist who had linked with Boko Haram Ahmad Salkida, had on a Twitter interview warned the government over the fathom cease fire agreement giving some insight into the thinking of the group. He said that the ceasefire was “shadows and bubbles” and said that the said Boko Haram secretary general was a fraud and considered an infidel by the terrorist group.
Another Nigerian government official speaking with The Cable said, “The period of the phantom negotiations gave the terror group time to regroup, reinforce and restrategise, which is the intent of Déby for asking the Nigerian government to negotiate a ceasefire with Boko Haram,” the source said. “As soon as Nigeria began to make a lot of gains in the war against Boko Haram, owing to the efforts of the military and President Goodluck Jonathan who has been discussing with regional leaders to halt the insurgency, and at a time the commanders of the sect were being rounded up, that was when the Chadian president approached the Nigerian government asking that it mediates between the parties in the conflict.
“The discussions between the government and the Chadian president on Boko Haram started in September. However, Déby said he was already talking with Boko Haram.
“The government was trying to verify the authenticity of Boko Haram’s representatives in the supposed negotiations, but Déby asked the Nigerian government to take a chance that he had done the verification already. He affirmed that Boko Haram’s representatives were truly standing in for the group in the negotiations.”
“Tukur was the one spearheading the dialogue with Boko Haram on behalf of the Nigerian government. He had the first contact with group. It was still in the middle of the supposed negotiations that Danladi Ahmadu announced on Voice of America that the group had ceased fire. Following the announcement of ceasefire by the group, the Nigerian government equally announced a ceasefire on October 17 for the supposed negotiations to continue.
“A Nigerian delegation left for Chad on October 21 for talks with Boko Haram, but the Chadian president became evasive. The Nigerian delegation was told that Déby was sick and that the meeting be rescheduled for October 23.
“However, on that date, the delegation was told that the Chadian president was still sick after waiting for six hours. The delegation made visits to Chad a number of times, but met a brickwall.
“As Boko Haram’s resumed attacks grew in intensity, the Nigerian government became worried. Many attempts were made to inquire from the Chadian president who was supposed to be mediating between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram, but the attempts were all futile.
“France was privy to the botched negotiations, but said nothing just like the Chadian government.
“It became clear to the Nigerian government that Déby was working for Boko Haram. The government of Chad has not said a word to the Nigerian government since Boko Haram’s resumed onslaughts. It has simply refused to make any comment or communicate with the Nigerian government.
“The Nigerian government has also ceased to speak with the Chadian government on the matter since it is now clear that Chad is working with Boko Haram.”
The official also said that the next move for the Nigerian government is a full-scale military assault on the terrorist group.
“The only option left for the Nigerian government is to continue to use force to end the crisis. As it is now, there is no negotiation or mediation going on. The statements by some government officials that the abducted Chibok girls would return soon were based on assurances by the Chadian government, but now there is no negotiation going on anywhere,” he said.
“It is important to add that the Nigerian government decided to honour Chad’s request for negotiations with Boko Haram, because it was the first time a foreign government would be mediating in the protracted insurgency in the country. Other individuals have tried, but the government has always spurned them.”