Boko Haram leader declares ceasefire, says they are ready for dialogue

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The planned amnesty programme of the Federal Government for members of the Boko Haram Islamist sect seems to have made a breakthrough as one of the top leaders of the sect, Mohammed Marwan has indicated the readiness of the sect to dialogue with the Federal Government.

Marwan, who said this in an interview with the Hausa Service of the Voice of America (VoA) monitored in Kaduna, said that it was as an indication of the sect’s willingness to dialogue with the government on the way forward in the offer of amnesty that it released the French family it had been holding hostage for two months.

He said the release was as a decision that was taken after a meeting with 11 other top members of the sect.

The French family, the Moulin-Fourniers had been kidnapped in Northern Cameroun, 10km from the Nigerian border and held by the Boko Haram Islamist sect for two months until their release this week.

The sect leader, however, warned that any government offensive against the sect members or attack on any member of the Muslim community unjustly would breach the agreement.

He said,“Those that were in our custody for some time, I gave the directive that they be released yesterday around 2.00 p.m. I gave the directive for their release as a result of some discussions we had amongst us. The discussions revolved around what the government came up with after their meeting with the Northern elders.

“That is why I ordered that they should be released and allowed to go without being handed over to anybody. I said a vehicle should be brought so that they go back to where they came from inbetween Cameroon and Adamawa. It was as result of the many calls and the preparations ahead. That was why I gave that order after our joint meeting; 12 of us had met.”

On the amnesty committee set up by the government, Marwan said it was high time the government stopped what it was doing to the sect members and the sect too ceased fire.

He said, “We thank Allah; we should all sit. They should stop what they are doing and we too should stop what we are doing. I also directed that no security official will be touched unless he touches us or the Muslim community; those who committed no crime, as we will revenge if they do that. But I have given that directive so that we would see how they will go about it. (So will it be) unless another confusion comes up again.”

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