…Enumerates conditions to begin trusting the sect
From UBONG UKPONG, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday indicated that the declaration of cease-fire by the Boko Haram sect was very suspicious, even as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, called for caution enumerating conditions under which such declaration from the widely condemned sect could be given a thought.
The sect had on Monday, in Maiduguri, Borno State, announced a cease-fire after weeks of meetings with the state government. However, speaking to journalists in Abuja at the third seminar on national security with the theme, “Contemporary National Security Challenges: Policy Options,” facilitated by the Alumni Association of National Defence College (AANDEC) in collaboration with the National Defence College (NDC), the CDS said, “we must treat that with a lot of caution.”
Although he expressed happiness that the sect was at least, declaring a cease-fire, which was very vital to the processes of resolving the security problems in the country, Admiral Ibrahim, however, said their intentions were still not very clear to them in the military and as such, they (the military) would never advise government to jump at it with all trusts. “Whatever must have brought this about must further enhance our security and it’s like a recognition of a very futile approach to solving whatever they consider their problems.
So, we are a bit excited by it but are taking everything with a lot of caution,” he said. Ibrahim, who said there were certain objective tests in considering the cease-fire as declared by the sect said, “let’s assume we can have a whole period of one month where no bomb explodes, where nobody is shot, where nobody is beheaded, where no church is bombed, where no mosque is threatened.
If we can guarantee one month, then we can begin to talk. So, we must take this with a lot of caution; that’s what I am telling you.” The defence chief, who indicated that the military would not be tempted by such declaration to retreat, also articulated that even when such conditions were met, they would still be very much around to watch them closely and not take chances for hoodlums to seize the country and make it uncomfortable for citizens to stay.