CHRISTIANS in the 17 Southern states under the aegis of Southern CAN, yesterday, described the recent ceasefire deal reportedly reached between the Federal Government and members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram as a ruse, stressing that such a deal will only be meaningful if the sect had opted to surrender and lay down their arms.
The Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, which is the umbrella association of northern Muslims, however, disagreed with CAN’s position describing the ceasefire as a welcome development.
In a telephone interview with the General Secretary, Dr. Joseph Ajujungwa, last night, the region group also condemned the recent killing of 29 students and the burning of their hostel/domitories in Yobe State by hoodlums suspected to be members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect.
Southern CAN said the mindless killing of the innocent students and injuring of scores of others including their teachers by Boko Haram is an uncalled for barbaric act and satanic. Dr. Ajujunwa, therefore, called on the Federal Government to ensure that our public institutions especially schools are adequately protected to guarantee the safety of the nation’s young ones, noting that the nation had shared too much blood in the last couple of years.
Meantime, the Secretary General of JNI, Dr. Khalid Abubakar who spoke on the issue in Kaduna, yesterday, said the gesture was to confirm that Boko Haram was not made up of “ghosts” as once claimed by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Abubakar said: “The JNI sees this as a welcome development. We have been asking for this kind of window. It is a big plus for the drive towards peace. This has come to fault those saying that Boko Haram is made up of ghosts. The challenge now is on the Federal Government to take advantage of this move. Government must pursue this proposal with all seriousness and sincerity. This is an opportunity for lasting peace in the country.
“I do not see any reason not to believe that the move by the group is a sincere one. We have become so pessimistic in this country that even when a good thing that will benefit us is coming, we refuse to grab it. I am an optimist and I believe that we are on our way to living cordially like it was in the past.”