AFRICANGLOBE – Terrorist Islamic sect Boko Haram has agreed to a ceasefire deal in northern Nigeria in exchange for the release of its members from police custody.
The group has also authorised the police to arrest anyone fighting in its name.
Sheikh Mohammed Abdulaziz, a self-proclaimed commander of the radical group told reporters in Borno State on Monday that there would be a cease-fire if the local government releases some sect members as promised.
Abdulaziz said Boko Haram members had met twice with Borno state government officials regarding a ceasefire.
Government security agencies were urged to arrest anyone found carrying arms or killing in the name of Boko Haram.
“We resolved that we should bring this crisis to an end,” Abdulaziz told reporters in the Hausa language of northern Nigeria.
“We therefore called on all those that identify themselves with us and our cause, to from today lay down their arms.”
Last year, an alleged member of Boko Haram told reporters that the sect was prepared to enter into peace talks if they were held in Saudi Arabia and involved former military ruler and presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari.
Questions have, however, been raised about the cease-fire offer by Abdulaziz following an alleged Boko Haram attack in the village of Gajiganna in Borno state left eight people dead on Sunday.
Borno state spokesman Isa Gusau told journalists that the government had been “exploring different ways to establish some means of negotiation.”
Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for over 792 deaths in 2012 alone according to an Associated Press count.
Suspected members of Boko Haram are being held by the Nigerian government, illegally, in inhumane conditions and without access to lawyers, Amnesty International has reported in the past.
A recent Human Rights Watch report also accuses both the Nigerian security forces and members of Boko Haram of committing crimes against humanity.