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Friday, 17 October 2014

Hope rises for Chibok girl's release !

Boko Haram set to free Chibok girls 18.Oct.2014 DISQUS_COMMENTS Collins Nnabuife - Abuja Strikes ceasefire deal with FG in Chad A major breakthrough in the quest for an end to Boko Haram insurgency was made on Friday as both the Federal Government and the Boko Haram commenced a ceasefire. The decisions, it was revealed, followed a meeting between both sides reportedly held in Chad. The representatives of Boko Haram was led by one Danladi Ahmadu who is said to be the Chief Security Officer of the sect, while the Chadian President, Idriss Deby, was present along with representatives of the Federal Government. An earlier report by the Voice of America (VOA) disclosed that the Boko Haram was in talks with the Nigerian government to release more than 200 girls abducted six months ago and negotiate an end to the deadly insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives. The VOA quoted an adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan “and a man calling himself the secretary-general of Boko Haram” saying that “discussions are under way, aided by high level officials from Chad and Cameroon.” “Boko Haram’s Danladi Ahmadu, said the girls are ‘in good condition and unharmed.’ ” VOA said, “Ahmadu would not elaborate on the conditions under which the girls would be freed.” However, some other reports said “The Federal Government, represented by the Principal Private Secretary to the President, Ambassador Hassan Tukur, met with President of Chad and some high-ranking officials of the Cameroonian government in N’Djanena, Chad, in a continued effort to secure the release of the over 219 school girls abducted by Boko Haram over six months ago.” The Coordinator of the National Information Centre (NIC), Mr. Mike Omeri, confirmed these moves in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the security situation in Nigeria. According to Omeri “ the discussions are essentially in relation to the general insecurity in the North East and also the need to rescue all captives of the terrorists, including the students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok.” He also said “already, the terrorists have announced a ceasefire in furtherance of their desire for peace. In this regard, the government of Nigeria has, in a similar vein, declared a ceasefire.” He also noted that the terrorists assured that the captured Chibok girls “are still alive and well.” “They assured us that the school girls and all other people in their captivity are alive and well,” Omeri said. The NIC coordinator also revealed that from the discussions with the federal government, the terrorist group indicated their desire to resolve all issues. “From the discussions, they indicated their desire for and willingness to discuss and resolve all associated issues,” he said. He, however, assured Nigerians that the greater goal of this process is to ensure the return of normalcy in the land, especially in parts of the country troubled by the activities of terrorists. The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, also confirmed the development to newsmen in Abuja on Friday. This was during the close of the three-day coordinating conference on Nigeria/Cameroon trans-border military operations with the Cameroonian Chief of Defence Staff, Lt.- Gen. Claude Rene. “Without any prejudice to the outcome of our three-day interactions and the conclusion of this forum, I wish to inform this audience that a ceasefire agreement has been concluded between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Ahlul Sunna Li Dawaa Wal Jihad (Boko Haram). “I have accordingly directed the service chiefs to ensure immediate compliance with this development in the field.” The army spokesperson, Maj.-Gen Chris Olukolade, also said that the directive to the service chiefs had gone to the field and that it would be adhered to immediately. He, however, said that he didn’t speak for the insurgents but for the Nigerian armed forces and could only clarify that the Nigerian army would comply with the directive. “The Chief of Defence Staff has given directive to all the service chiefs to ensure that it is complied with immediately on the field and that information has gone to the troops in the field. “I don’t speak for them (Boko Haram), I speak for the Nigerian Armed Forces and we are going to comply because the Federal Government has entered into an agreement in that respect,” he said. On April 14, dozens of Boko Haram fighters stormed a secondary school in the remote northeastern village of Chibok, kidnapping around 270 girls. Fifty-seven managed to escape.