Untold story of Boko Haram peace talk


From TIMOTHY OLA, Maiduguri

The news of possible ceasefire by the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad popularly known as Boko Haram on Thursday was greeted with skepticism.

One Abu Mohammed Ibn Abdulaziz who claimed to be the sect’s commander in-charge of southern and northern Borno and mandated by the sect’s leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau, told reporters in a teleconference in Maiduguri that the group was favourably disposed to holding dialogue with the Federal Government in Saudi Arabia.

Abdulaziz who requested to be allowed to secure the permission of Imam Shekau whom he repeatedly addressed as “our great brother and leader,” before he started the briefing said the sect members were highly offended.

“We are highly offended due to what happened three years ago (referring to the killing of the sect’s leader, Malam Mohammed Yusuf). If this former governor (Sen Ali Sheriff) is arrested, this thing (attacks) will end”, he stated.

Residents’ skepticism

Abdulaziz’s teleconference has elicited a deluge of questions from within and outside the state. Was his disclosure a general representation of the sect’s position on ceasefire and the venue of the proposed dialogue? Did he actually consult the feared leader of the sect, Imam Shekau or was he speaking for a group within the sect (if any)? Why more killings even after resolving to go for dialogue and ceasefire especially with the killing of retired Gen Mamman Shuwa on Friday by unknown gunmen?

Though Sheik Abdulaziz had disclosed in his brief that most of the killings in the area were perpetrated by people other than the sect members, the killing of Gen Shuwa by gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram raised a lot of concern among residents of Maiduguri that the much-expected ceasefire and dialogue may after all, have been shelved again like the previous attempts.

According to a statement by the spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Lt Col Sagir Musa, Gen Shuwa was shot dead in his house located at Gwange ward opposite the Customs House in Maiduguri on Friday by four gunmen who he thought, were guests for Juma’at prayer. Family sources said Shuwa usually receive visitors daily in front of his house especially by midday, adding that many guests often joined him on Friday before proceeding to the mosque for Juma’at prayer.  However, Lt Col Musa said the gunmen “opened fire on the General and his guests. One of the guests died on the spot while the General died on the way to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.”

Shuwa who was a commander of the Nigerian Army during the civil war (1967-1970) with his contemporary and associate, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, was known to be a party elder in the ruling All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) I the state. He was said to be instrumental to the success of the party in his Kanla-Balge Local Government and his Gwange ward 1 Maiduguri during elections. Some stalwarts of the ANPP hinted that Shuwa’s killing might have been politically motivated especially with Abdulaziz’s insistence that most of the killings in the state were not actually done by the sect.  “We don’t have hands in some of the things that are happening in town. Some people have been committing a lot of things using our name. We are not part of it, we are only fighting the course of Allah”, he insisted.

President abandoned us

Most people in Borno state have repeatedly expressed anger about what they saw as “deliberate abandonment” by the Federal Government.

“Does it mean he is unaware of the level of pains people are going through here? He has visited Mandalla in Niger, he was in Jos and Lagos, yet we have been witnessing worse situation here and the Federal Government isn’t bordered about it. Was he scared of coming here or have his aides advised him not to come to Borno despite his large number of security men”, Salmatu, a resident of Maiduguri once queried.

The same anguish was expressed by the secretary of the Borno Elders Forum, a body of elders in the Borno Emirate council; Bulama Mali Gubio. He declared recently that Borno people have decided to take their destiny into their hands since the Federal Government has abandoned them.

“We feel it is time for us as a people to take our destiny into our hands since it appears the president is not interested in our plight”, Mali Gubio said.  President Jonathan’s visit to some flood-ravaged states appeared the major basis for the frustration of the Borno people as many residents argued that had President Jonathan showed concern in the plight of the Borno people by visiting the state being the biggest victims of the Boko Haram insurgence, the battle to end the crisis would have been won.

Borno Elders connection   

Arising from that alleged abandonment by the Federal Government, the Borno Elders Forum led by the first Nigerian Petroleum minister, octogenarian Shettima Ali Monguno, in a meeting summoned at the instance of the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Umar Ibn Garbai Elkanemi, took some far-reaching decisions to end the lingering crisis.

Briefing journalists after the one-hour meeting at the Shehu’s palace, the secretary of the Forum and former Borno Head of Civil Service, Bulama Mali Gubio hinted that people would begin to “see the result of the far-reaching decisions taken by the meeting in the next two weeks.”  Though, Mali Gubio did not give an insight into the decisions, the confidence he exhibited during the briefing showed a suggested an imminent solution to the problem.

Reliable sources told Sunday Sun that some key members of the forum were “actually behind the current move of the sect to embrace dialogue and call for ceasefire.”

It was gathered that some the elders reached out to the sect members with a view to addressing the security challenges.

Curiously, Abdulaziz had named some of the elders including Shettima Ali Monguno, Amb Gaji Gatimari, chairman presidential committee on insecurity in the North-east, and Mali Gubio among others as preferred mediators. He also mentioned Aishat Waziri “and her husband” who had also been reaching out to the sect to lay down their arms.

Mid this year, Bar Aishat had facilitated similar teleconference between the sect and journalists where one Abdulrahaman said the group was considering dialogue, a position that drew the ire of the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad. It advised people to desist from listening to anybody who claim to be representing it other than its official spokesperson, Abu Qaqa. The Thursday briefing was believed to have also been facilitated by Bar Aisha Waziri who was also at the venue of the conference. Many journalists feared a repeat of similar anger and threat by the Islamic sect, a development that prompted questions about the existence of factions and possibility of Sheik Abdulaziz speaking for a group within the sect.

But then, Abdulaziz who later introduced another “great brother and leader,” identified as Abbas Abubakar insisted he was speaking with the permission of Imam Shekau, the known leader of the sect.


Facilitators and mediators

Among those who the sect preferred to facilitate the proposed dialogue with the Federal Government, according to Abdulaziz, is the former military Head of State, Gen Muhammadu Buhari known by his admirers as Mai Gaskiya (the truthful or honest man) and for a group that has always alleged government insincerity about dialogue. The choice of Gen Buhari was expected.

Others include Shettima Ali Monguno, Gaji Gatimari and Sen Bukar Abba Ibrahim. But then, it was unclear why Bukar Abba’s name featured prominently among the facilitators.

Sources said Bukar Abba might have attracted the love of the sect for approving a serene settlement for a militant group (also believed to be Boko Haram) first in Bursari Local Government Area and later, at Kanama in Yobe State, in 2002 while he was governor of Yobe State. On the sect’s mediating list, according to Abdulaziz, are himself, Sheik Ibrahim Yusuf, Sheik Sani Kontagora, Abu Abbass and Mamman Nur, “appointed by our great brother and leader to handle the dialogue with the Federal Government.”

Given that the insurgence has claimed over 2, 000 lives since July 2009, Nigerians look forward to seeing more commitment from the sect and Federal Government to peace that has eluded the country for too long.

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  1. Those comparing flood disaster with boko haram insurgence are progressing in error because they are not the same. Boko haram is the political army of the northern power mongers let loose to reclaim power by force of arms from GEJ, and by extension from the south. It is wrong for any reasonable person to expect GEJ to treat boko haram as friends when they are enemies of Nigeria and Nigeria. The North should carry their cross. They know themselves and their hidden agenda, so if they are tied, let them stop and recall their political arm and leave GEJ alone but should remember the parable of riding the tiger.

  2. Boko people or whatever they called themselves should live jonathan alone……the wrath of God will surely vindicate them.he who goes by sword must end up by sword……the blood of the innocent soul thewested must hunt they.the church they burnt will hunt them.Jonthan should not accept theirfooish demand and people suspected must face the full wrayh of the law…….Northern leaders knows who is killling them.they should wake up and train the people to school so as to value life and stop behaving like cow and donkey they ride yes…

  3. Goverment should not have any dislogue killers, jihadists, terrotists. Why you people want Jonathan to come to animals kingdom? No way, Jonathan will never ever come there. Let Bako haram continue with their killings and more destructions.

  4. Aboki. Kaduna state. on

    Nonsense people,you want to accept peace now,what happen to the innocent lives that have wasted,let them continue to ruin thier economy after they cry of underdevopment.

  5. Thank u Jariiii.
    If north like let their political army seize fire if they like let them continue destroying themselves and their properties.
    They must surely regret every bit of all the senseless killings and destructions by the time south have moved to the promised land.

  6. what a nonsense? where are the elders in the north? i think they will all live to regret all these incessant killings in future.

  7. Why the choice of Saudi Arabia for talks? Those claiming Niger Delta militants got FG’s amnesty and comparing them with BH…
    the comparison is baseless. The former agreed to dialogue in Aso Rock. They didn’t give any religious excuses or location for any act to cease fire, they weren’t attacking us or destroying worshipers in the name of God for peace. What do they really want that is not some religious bigotry.

  8. emmanuel ishaku on

    most of u here are ignorant nd misinform fellas to d happening in d north. whn dos dmon kill they kill both northernern and sourthernern, their target mostly christian nd security agent as 4 dialogue their condition is unacceptable.

  9. Nigerians have come again. You have started giving different interpretations to call for dialogue by Boko Haram. It appears some people are happy with continous threat to peace and daily massacre of innocent lives, Please let the peace talk hold.

  10. to dialogue with devil?since the creations of heaven and earth have you seen were God was having dialogue with satan?so boko haram if you need dialogue it will be better between you and your sponsors, you should go and tell them that jtf has got more than 95%of your informations and there is no hiding place for you anymore so better leave Nigeria now or…..you will all be killed…JTF more actions please we are behind you in all your actions there period

  11. i don’t know the type of leadership Nigerians having when Speaker of the House will advise Federal Government to dialogue with terrorist who have killed thousand of innocent Nigerian… Imagine a national figure instead of condemn there attitude… actually Northern leaders are hypocrites because Bako haram from northerners……..Imagine telling American/European/Indonesia/Pakistan even Saudi Arabian to dialogue with terrorist who did not value the life of innocent citizen…..let the Northern leaders go and dialogue with Bako haram and bring the out come of the result to federal government…Aminu Tambuwal u are stupid speak



    Nigeria is not a sharia muslim country why boko haram asking to go sadi arabia? they didnt ask to go USA or Israel? we dont need there peace Buhari and his members are osama bin ladin groups…they want to go saudi arabia so that they will ask to make whole Nigeria islamic sharia country…they killd alot of my Biafran lovely brothers and sisters and all the churches they distroyed…i think USA need to put mouth in this casen now…they muslims want use brain turn Nigeria to sharia country and islamic country who are muslims by thinking that Nigeria will be a Muslim country? that is they asking to go to saudi arabia..fuck u buhari and ur members.

    Nigerian USA Army Force.

  13. Why should the federal govt waste its money it generated from other region on this arid creeps?
    my suggestion evacuate other regions from them and allow them to finish themselves. if it is possible, provide them with guns and bombs too. please southerners flee from the north so that they will have time to bomb themselves and their citys. useless bokos. fgn never negogiates with terrorist.

  14. @abdulwaheed i am very happy at it but myb regrets is the other people from other region who are affected by it. if for me i will provide them with nuke weapon to wipe out the entire north



  16. dailuog can hold,but it should be waidind to inlude plenty representetives from the public,goverment,religous/traditional leaders and every other groups that matters .

  17. nigerians open ur eyes. Boko haram did not ask for dialogue when they were having their way by killing people in hundreds on daily basis. It appears the hard working security men are closing in on them and they seek dialogue all of a sudden. We are not fools and therefore cannot accept to negotiate with terrorists through terrorists. Let us be patiant we shall soon see that those named by the sect as their worthy mediators are the real terrorists. This is exactly why they now want to come in as mediators just to appear as saints on the day of reckoning which is close at hand

  18. Dialogue with who! devil.Never,will Nigerians allow their President to dialogue with murderers!.Let them dialogue with their sponsors.Their politicians who fail to understand the hand writing on the wall MENE MENE TEKEL UPHASIN.I mean that they should hire a prophet to interpret this to them FOOLS.Blood thirsty idiots.Spoilers of Nigeria.Iam very sory for Nigeria because some names they mentioned have been in power in Nigeria sometime ago.They really commited atrocities while in power.Shame to them all.They lost the power.which they abused at will on the expense of the east INYAMIRI.

  19. D best solution 2 dis rubbish is, let other tribes in d north leave d region. Let’s c, if they wil b killing their felo northerner n moslems

  20. The truth is what is boko harm ? Who are they? I will only tell president Good luck jonathan to stop been scared, that what you start you must finished to be a leader is not easy .the truth is that the problem of nigerian is course be you , look at what happen at madalla church at chirsmas day let their be war within chirstian and muslam and does boko harm and see which heart is more disburd than ever.look at what happen thesame boko harm came to some ones houses and kill that person in the name of security .the advised am even to nigerians are should be carefull at least by 7. 0 0 clock you are inside your houses not been told ,let our bad leader governon us with their wizdom.you can also call me with 08181965578

  21. Dailogue is the only instrument to end a war! If they are sincere,FG should listening to them;but if they are not,it is high time Gvt should wake up to her responsibility.Enough of these!

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