Boko Haram ceasefire deal untrue, says member amnesty panel

By The Rainbow

Former Governor of Kaduna State and member of the Presidential Committee on Amnesty for Boko Haram, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said on Thursday the committee did not sign a ceasefire agreement with the sect. that

The committee only had an 'understanding' with the sect that would lead to signing a ceasefire agreement, Makarfi, who represents  the Kaduna North Senatorial District in the Senate, said.

Speaking with journalists in an interview on Thursday in Kaduna,  Makarfi said, 'Definitely our chairman did not say there was any ceasefire. He said there was an understanding to enter into dialogue that could lead to ceasefire. So, he was talking about a progress indicating a process in terms of discussion.'

He said signing an agreement with the sect that had over the years wreaked havoc on innocent Nigerians could only be done by the Federal Government and 'not the committee.'

'We have to understand that when it comes to signing a ceasefire agreement, it is not the committee that will sign a ceasefire. It is the government but since we are involved in discussing with many of them as possible, whatever progress we are making is progress,' Makafi added.

The former governor, who refused to disclose the extent of the committee's dealing with the sect because of the sensitive nature of the assignment, said a lot had been achieved between the committee and the sect.

Otherwise, he noted, President Jonathan would not have extended the work of the committee for another two months.

'We are happy where we are. If the President was not happy with where we are, he would not have given us additional two months to complete the critical stage of our work. We would have been given marching orders,' he said.

He therefore, urged Nigerians to be patient with the committee, saying that there was no need for the disbandment of the committee being canvassed in some quarters.

'I cannot divulge the full extent of the progress that has been made but in an organisation that has thousands and so many leaders, it is not an impossible thing that you are speaking to some and you are yet to speak to some.

'So it is not that everybody is being spoken to or has been spoken to. But definitely, quite a number have been spoken to and are being spoken to.

'Our prayer is that it will yield conclusive dividends that can improve the security and well-being of our country. Look at the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland. Has it stopped some elements from doing certain things? So, don't rule out the fact that nothing ever will happen, but the issue will be receding up till the time when we will eliminate the challenge.'