Ahmad Salkida, the only Nigerian journalist to have gained unfettered access to Boko Haram at the start of the crisis in 2009, has expressed doubts over the ceasefire agreement between the federal government and Boko Haram announced on Friday.
Mike Omeri, coordinator of the National Information Centre (NIC), announced on Friday that Boko Haram had agreed to cease fire and that the government would also do the same.
“Already the terrorists have announced a ceasefire in furtherance of their desire for peace. In this regard, the government of Nigeria has, in a similar vein, declared a ceasefire,” Omeri had said, adding that the government was facilitating negotiations with Boko Haram for the release of the abducted Chibok girls.
However, Salkida, who fled to the in the United Arab Emirates after threats to his lives owing to his familiarity with Boko Haram, remarked that it no surprise for war-weary Nigerians to receive any news that brings respite about insurgency without asking questions.
“I guess Nigerians are tired and as such, any news that offers respite on this protracted war between Nigeria and Boko Haram is welcome,” he wrote on twitter.
“Sadly, anybody that dismisses such good news becomes Nigeria’s enemy. But the leadership of Boko Haram is said to be miffed that a nation of the profile and magnitude of Nigeria with a high level intelligent people is easily encased in deceit, and nobody seems to be asking tough questions.
“What is most worrying here is, government at the highest level and the intelligence formations in Nigeria have embraced this ‘good news’. This shows a lack of understanding of the reality that this is an ideology that can only be neutralised after long hard work, which is yet to start.
“It also appears that the government is more interested in shadows and bubbles than in substance and clear-headed engagement with Boko Haram ideology.”