Reports reaching us say the fundamentalist group, Boko Haram has proposed to dialogue with the federal government and in the plan outlined by a member of the group, a ceasefire will be declared before the dialogue commences.
In what can be described as a drastic shift from the sects hard line position, the sect which has been staging insurgent attacks against the Nigerian government in northern Nigeria on Thursday offered to cease all hostilities if the federal government will arrest and prosecute the immediate past governor of Borno State, Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff.
One Abu Mohammed Ibn Abdulaziz who claimed to be one of the leaders of the Islamic sect, made it known that the group will call for a ceasefire if the federal government arrests and prosecutes the immediate past governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
In a telephone press conference in Maiduguri the Borno State capital today, Abdulaziz told journalists that he was speaking for the sect as he has been directed to do so by the leader of the Jama’atul Ahlis Sunna Liddaawati wal Jihad widely known as the Boko Haram.
“If this former governor is arrested, this thing will end as we are highly offended with what happened three years ago”
He claimed that Sheriff (the former Governor) while in office sent securities to arrest and kill most of their members while practising their religion, adding most of them are at the moment languishing in various prisons across the country.
He called for compensation as most of their wives and children have been killed while their properties have also been destroyed.
The sect he revealed have adopted Saudi Arabia as the neutral venue for the proposed dialogue with the federal government, saying the choice of Saudi Arabia is because the federal government has failed them in the series of the negotiations.
Abdullaziz said five of its members have been mandated to liaise with five members of Borno Elders to find ways of meeting the federal Government to end the insurgency.
He listed the Nigerian mediators to include Alhaji Shettima Ali Mongonu, General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Ambassador Gaji Galtimari and Barrister Aisha Wakil and her husband.
“The committee members of the dialogue he stressed include; my humble self, Abu Mohammed Abdullaziz, Shiek Abu Abas, Shiek Ibrahim Yusuf, Shiek Sani Kontagora, and Mamman Nur”
Boko Haram, formed in 2009, claims western education is sinful and proposes that interaction with the western world is forbidden and also opposed to the Muslim establishment and the federal government of Nigeria and therefore wages what the sect calls a war against them.
Since August 2011 the insurgency attacks and counter insurgency is reported to have claimed over 2,000 lives. The sect staged a number of attacks on government establishment by planting bombs and using suicide bomb attacks at strategic locations and churches across the northern region of the country.