The APC Presidential Campaign Organisation has expressed concern that since the collapse of the phantom ceasefire with the Boko Haram terrorists, the Jonathan administration has decided not to talk about it, pretending that the passage of time would automatically make the issue die a natural death.
A statement by the Directorate of Media and Publicity of the campaign and signed by Garba Shehu said that the Jonathan government got it wrong on the curious silence over the botched deal. A democratic government should be open and accountable to the people. Accountability is the dividing line between a dictatorship and a democratic government, but the Jonathan administration is behaving as if it owes Nigerians no explanations over the failed ceasefire deal.
For the sake of Nigerians who may have lost their recollection of this epic national scandal called a “ceasefire deal” with Boko Haram, it is important to quote the government officials and remind them of the promises they made to free the Chibok girls under that phantom truce.
On October 17, 2014, the Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh excitedly told an expectant nation that a deal had been reached with Boko Haram, which included not only a ceasefire, but also the immediate release of the kidnapped Chibok girls within a week. He said: “…I wish to inform this audience that a ceasefire agreement has been concluded between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Ahlul Sunna Li Daawa Wal Jihad (Boko Haram). I have accordingly directed the service chiefs to ensure immediate compliance with this development in the field.”
A previously unknown man called Danladi Ahmadu was widely reported by the international media as being the contact person between Boko Haram, Chad and Nigeria. But within 24 hours, the Boko Haram putative leader, Abubakar Shekau, released a video message through the French news agency (AFP), denying any ceasefire deal and repudiated Danladi Ahmadu, the so-called Boko Haram representative at the ceasefire talks.
Ironically, while Air Marshal Badeh was directing service chiefs to enforce the “ceasefire immediately”, the Boko Haram terrorists launched simultaneous attacks on towns and villages, including Badeh’s hometown. The Boko Haram had not only discredited the “ceasefire”, but also vowed to continue their terrorist campaigns.
This purported “ceasefire” had brought instant ray of hope to the families of the Chibok girls, currently being held hostage by the terrorists. Sadly, their hope had evaporated after it became evident that the “ceasefire” was a hoax after all. There were also reports that Nigeria had lost millions of dollars to the fake peace deal.
What is more shocking, however, is that since the collapse of the so-called truce with Boko Haram, the federal government has maintained sealed lips, despite repeated reports that Nigeria had been conned into the “ceasefire” deal.
Rather than coming clean to tell Nigerians what happened, the Jonathan administration feels it owes the citizens no explanations. Is this the character of a democratic government? Why the government did announce a unilateral ceasefire without any assurance of the workability of the deal (if it had ever existed)? Does the government think the issue will die a natural death with the passage of time, hoping that the citizens don’t have the right to know? Should a democratic government be run like a cult when matters of public importance are shrouded in secrecy? Does greeting every issue of public importance, including the missing $50 billion and the millions of dollars allegedly lost to fake ceasefire deal with deliberate silence reflects the character of a serious and accountable government?
Directorate of Media and Publicity, APC campaign