Following the recent ceasefire deal announced by the Federal Government on Friday, October 17, 2014, they have been indications that the dreaded Boko Haram sect may have split into two.
Punch reported that one faction may want peace while the other doesn’t and the Federal Government might have entered into the ceasefire agreement with the faction that wants peace.
A reliable source in government disclosed that it was the leaders of the pro-peace faction that took part in the negotiations with the government last week.
News has it that the Federal Government and Boko Haram representatives are expected to fine tune the details of the ceasefire at another meeting in Ndjamena, Chad on Tuesday.
Further sources in government said that the government was still expressing cautious optimism in its dealings with the sect and have decided to keep a dignified silence to see how the matter plays out.
“The government does not want to jump into the fray. It is true that discussions are ongoing but the government is watching the situation critically. The thinking is that once the process scales through, the government will make a public pronouncement.
“Hopefully, once the Tuesday meeting is successful, the government will talk. For now, we are watching events,” the source said.
Few hours after the ceasefire announcement on Friday, Boko Haram terrorists allegedly carried out a series of deadly attacks on a number of Nigerian villages.
The source is of the opinion that those who launched the attack could have been from the anti-peace faction who are not interested in ending the violence.
“The Boko Haram faction that carried out the attack is the one that wants the insurgency to continue. It is made up of hardcore elements who believe their goal of imposing Sharia on the whole country has not been achieved and for them, the violence must continue until they win the war or perish in their quest,” he said.
However, a top military source who pleaded anonymity said the army was keeping its own side of the bargain, following the directive issued by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh that all on-going aerial and ground offensives against the sect should be suspended.
He added that he did not consider the latest Boko Haram attacks as a violation of the ceasefire as it was very likely the attack was carried out by operatives of the terrorist cells who were not aware of the peace deal.
The source said: “One cannot say the peace deal has been violated; it is the nature of most terrorist organisations to act that way, and it should be expected because they have several layers of operation.
“They have such a long chain that it takes time for them to communicate with the top unlike the military where you are very quick communication channels.
“Another thing is that each of the cells operates independent of the other. So those who carried out the attacks in the villages in might not even be aware of the deal.”
Another security source who spoke on the matter said the army was complying with the ceasfire agreement to give peace a chance and they have suspended the air operation for the duration of the ceasefire.
Also lending his voice to the ceasefire deal, a security source warned that soldiers would be left with no option than to act if attacked.
“This is ceasefire does not say pull back soldiers; so soldiers have not been pulled back. It is logical, if soldiers are attacked, they would fight back; they won’t sit and watch but soldiers have not gone for any operation since the ceasefire,” he said.
The Nigerian government claimed to have reached a deal with Boko Haram sect to ceasefire and also release over 200 abducted Chibok schoolgirls in its captivity on Friday, October 17, 2014, the announcement has been trailed with a lot of controversy and for various reasons, most Borno residents have doubts about it.