The ceasefire agreement purportedly signed recently by the Federal Government and the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, is already in jeopardy.
The leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau, yesterday disclaimed the ceasefire and threatened more attacks on schools within its sphere of influence.
The Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki, had on Tuesday announced the signing of an agreement between government and Boko Haram as a prelude to ending years of killings and destruction of property by the group.
An influential member of the Shekau-led sect, Imam Muhammadu Marwana, corroborated the minister’s statement and also apologised for the various activities of the sect which have claimed thousands of lives especially in the northern part of the country.
However, Shekau, in his latest video message supported the July 6 attack on Government Secondary School, Mamudo near Potiskum, Yobe State in which officials said 20 students and one teacher were shot dead. Although unofficial sources claimed THAT well over 40 lives were lost.
The early morning gun and bomb attack at the boarding school saw assailants round up students and staff in a dormitory before throwing explosives inside and opening fire on fleeing students and teachers.
He did not claim responsibility for the massacre but said:”We fully support the attack on this Western education school in Mamudo.”
In the video, Shekau described all “Western education schools” as a “plot against Islam.”
He stopped short of claiming to have ordered the attack.
He threatened to burn down more schools and kill teachers. But he denied his fighters are killing children because, according to him, the Quran teaches one must not kill children, women and elderly people.
His words:”School teachers who are teaching Western education? We will kill them! We will kill them. We don’t attack students.”
Boko Haram means “Western education is sin.”
Announcing the ceasefire agreement earlier on Tuesday on the Hausa Service of Radio France International, Tanimu who doubles as Chairman of the Peace and Dialogue Committee in the North said: “We have sat down and agreed that Jama’atu Ahlul Sunnah Lidda’awati wal Jihad, known as Boko Haram will lay down their arms as part of the agreement so as to end the insurgency. Government agreed with ceasefire and will look into ways to ensure that the troops relax their activities till the final take off of the ceasefire.”
He gave no details of the agreement.
Marwana, on the said programme, confirmed the agreement and sought the forgiveness of Nigerians over the number of people killed in the country by the sect.
“This ceasefire, in sha’Allahu, from the time I am talking to you, we have ceased fire because of the discussion held,” he said and appealed to those who have lost their loved ones to “forgive us and on our side we have forgiven all those who committed atrocities against us.”
But he denied the involvement of the sect in the Mamudo school massacre.