Street Journal’s findings have revealed that the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, also referred to as Boko Haram, has spelt out some conditions for the ceasefire it proposed some days ago. Findings revealed that the dreaded sect has asked the Federal Government and the Government of Borno State to pay compensation totalling about N 26 billion to its leadership, members and families of its dead members. That according to them is the major condition that can sustain the ceasefire it announced recently.
Street Journal gathered that the sect’s leaders will receive the compensation which they and the members plan to utilise in picking up the pieces of their lives and also make up for the losses they incurred, especially their houses, cars and businesses that were destroyed in the course of their conflict with the government.
Findings also revealed that the Federal Government has not decided on the matter, though the Borno State Government seems ready, as long as it will bring peace and tranquillity, though some things might be brought to the bargaining table by the State Government to reduce the amount.
A top official, privy of the discussions between the group’s representatives and the Government of Borno State disclosed on the condition of anonymity that the sect had come up with the same demand about six months ago but the talks collapsed as the Federal Government did not approve of it.
The official also disclosed that the Borno State Government has offered to pay part of the compensation being demanded, but with the condition that other states affected by the sect’s activities would contribute too while the Federal Government too will pay part of the money. The source also disclosed that “the ceasefire did not just happen; it came about after more than four weeks of secret talks with trusted aides of the Governor.”
The revelation also confirms the statement made recently by Mujahideen Muhammad Mawarna, who claimed to be the second in command to Mallam Shekau, the sect’s leader in which he said the has met several times with the Government’s representatives but the negotiations never worked out.
The official declined to comment on whether part of the money has been paid or when and how the Government would eventually pay it. Alhaji Isa Gusau, the Special Adviser to the Borno State Governor on Communications too said he cannot comment on what transpired between the state government and the Boko Haram sect, though the disclosed that Governor Kashim Shettima believes in dialogue as the best solution to the issue. “I am not competent to speak on national security issues. We have a security council in Borno State. I am not a member of that council and of course, you know as much you will also agree with me that no governor will speak on such critical security issues” he said.
Speaking further, Gusau added that.” Governor Shettima has been very firm and consistent in his belief, as he has regularly advocated, that unless we want to engage in an endless war, the best way out of the crisis is dialogue towards a peaceful resolution and anytime someone is killed, be it a civilian, a security personnel or any member of the sect, the governor is usually and deeply pained, he hates to hear that someone loses his or her life, no matter who that person is. He believes that the life of every Nigerian is worth preserving”.