A new twist might have emerged in the ceasefire declared by the Boko Haram sect. Less than 24 hours after the ceasefire was declared, an audio interview of a man, identified as Mujhahedeen Muhammad Marwana, who claims to be the second-in-command to Boko Haram leader Imam Abubakar Shekau has been obtained. The interview was conducted over the telephone in Hausa language in Bauchi State and it has clear indications that the sect might not be ready for talks with the Federal Government.
In the interview, Muhammad Marwana disclosed that members of his group met with top government officials and influential people from the Northern part of Nigeria. Those he named included Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, former Minister of Defence Halliru Bello Mohammed and Sheik Dahiru Bauchi, though he gave no details of what transpired at the meetings.
Marwana gave hints that entering into dialogue with the Federal Government may not work as he alleged that not fewer than 47 Boko Haram sect members have been killed in failed dialogue efforts.
Giving some conditions that could be considered before any dialogue would begin, he stated that four principal members of the sect are being “unjustly” held in Kano, while others are being held in Maiduguri, Abuja and several other places and they must first be released as a pre-condition for any consideration of dialogue.
In the course of the interview, he disclosed that “many people have called us for dialogue many times but the government is fooling itself, thinking they are clever but deceiving themselves. They are insisting they don’t know us, it is false, we have met their representatives many times but because of their evil plan they kept denying because of their greed and wickedness.”
Peaking about the peace meetings held after the execution of former Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf in Maiduguri, he said “we were six in Shehu’s Palace. From there we were 40 that met in Damaturu and only three of us survived”. Narrating another instance, he said “we went to Kaduna and met in Arewa House; of eleven of us, ten were killed by special squad of security agencies around Tafa on Abuja way, with all these, who is a cheat and wants trouble? We sat with Governor Sule Lamido, former Minister of Defence, Haliru Bello Mohammed and Sheik Dahiru Bauchi, this is what we want our Muslim Ummah to know.”