How President Deby of Chad Deceived Nigerian Govt with a Phantom Boko Haram Ceasefire
The Chadian government deceived the Nigerian government over the phantom ceasefire deal with Boko Haram brokered by Idriss Déby, the president of Chad, while all the time working with Boko Haram, Abusidiqu has learnt
Federal government officials are now kicking themselves over the incident, according to an online news media, The Cable.
According to TheCable however, the federal government is still uncertain if the dummy was deliberately sold to Nigeria by Déby or if the Chadian president himself was hoodwinked into believing it was genuine. But the word in government circles is that Déby was working for Boko Haram as he has refused to communicate with Nigeria since the insurgents renewed their attacks.
“Nigerian government officials no longer have access to Déby who is now said to be sick. It appears he set us up to drop our guard and allow Boko Haram to gain ground,” the official told the online newspaper.
A man claiming to be the general secretary of Boko Haram, named Danladi Ahmadu, had told the Voice of America on October 17 that the government was negotiating with representatives of the group.
Alex Badeh, an air chief marshal and chief of defence staff, later addressed the media asking Nigerians soldiers to ceasefire because of the “agreement”, which he said included releasing the 219 Chibok schoolgirls in Boko Haram captivity.
Abusidiqu had reported that in September this year President Goodluck Jonathan traveled to the Chadian capital where he had a bilateral meeting with the Chadian President’s delegation that included former Borno State governor, Senator Modu Sheriff on the boko haram matter.
TheCable had also reported how Déby put the ceasefire deal together, revealing how he said Boko Haram got in touch with him, how he authenticated the message and how he got the Nigerian government involved in the negotiations.
But many Nigerians were suspicious of the ceasefire agreement including a journalist with links to the group who had described the claim as “shadows and bubbles” and warned Nigerians not to believe it.
Not long after that, Boko Haram became more ferocious in their attacks, taking over more Nigerian towns, including the country home of Badeh.
In a wide-ranging report published, the extremists are said to control more than two dozen towns and villages in the North-east Nigeria and there are signs that they are trying to advance south towards Adamawa’s capital Yola, while also trying to make inroads into Gombe State.
A government official who spoke with TheCable yesterday pointed accusing fingers at Déby, accusing him of setting a trap for Nigeria.
“The period of the phantom negotiations gave the terror group time to regroup, reinforce and restrategise, which is the intent of Déby for asking the Nigerian government to negotiate a ceasefire with Boko Haram,” the source said.
“As soon as Nigeria began to make a lot of gains in the war against Boko Haram, owing to the efforts of the military and President Goodluck Jonathan who has been discussing with regional leaders to halt the insurgency, and at a time the commanders of the sect were being rounded up, that was when the Chadian president approached the Nigerian government asking that it mediates between the parties in the conflict.
“The discussions between the government and the Chadian president on Boko Haram started in September. However, Déby said he was already talking with Boko Haram.
“The government was trying to verify the authenticity of Boko Haram’s representatives in the supposed negotiations, but Déby asked the Nigerian government to take a chance that he had done the verification already. He affirmed that Boko Haram’s representatives were truly standing in for the group in the negotiations.”
It was at this stage the government nominated the principal secretary to the president, Awwal Tukur, to be part of the negotiations in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad.
“Tukur was the one spearheading the dialogue with Boko Haram on behalf of the Nigerian government. He had the first contact with group. It was still in the middle of the supposed negotiations that Danladi Ahmadu announced on Voice of America that the group had ceased fire. Following the announcement of ceasefire by the group, the Nigerian government equally announced a ceasefire on October 17 for the supposed negotiations to continue.
“A Nigerian delegation left for Chad on October 21 for talks with Boko Haram, but the Chadian president became evasive. The Nigerian delegation was told that Déby was sick and that the meeting be rescheduled for October 23.
“However, on that date, the delegation was told that the Chadian president was still sick after waiting for six hours. The delegation made visits to Chad a number of times, but met a brickwall.
“As Boko Haram’s resumed attacks grew in intensity, the Nigerian government became worried. Many attempts were made to inquire from the Chadian president who was supposed to be mediating between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram, but the attempts were all futile.
“France was privy to the botched negotiations, but said nothing just like the Chadian government.
“It became clear to the Nigerian government that Déby was working for Boko Haram. The government of Chad has not said a word to the Nigerian government since Boko Haram’s resumed onslaughts. It has simply refused to make any comment or communicate with the Nigerian government.
“The Nigerian government has also ceased to speak with the Chadian government on the matter since it is now clear that Chad is working with Boko Haram.”
The official said the Nigerian military will now resort to use of force against Boko Haram.
“The only option left for the Nigerian government is to continue to use force to end the crisis. As it is now, there is no negotiation or mediation going on. The statements by some government officials that the abducted Chibok girls would return soon were based on assurances by the Chadian government, but now there is no negotiation going on anywhere,” he said.
“It is important to add that the Nigerian government decided to honour Chad’s request for negotiations with Boko Haram, because it was the first time a foreign government would be mediating in the protracted insurgency in the country. Other individuals have tried, but the government has always spurned them.”
Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the sect, released a video denouncing the ceasefire deal, saying he had already married off the kidnapped schoolgirls.
The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has called for an independent inquiry to unravel the circumstances surrounding the apparently fake ceasefire deal announced by the Jonathan administration on Oct. 17th, now that the sect’s leadership has described as an impostor the man with whom the phantom deal was negotiated.
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and made available to elombah.com, the party said Nigerians will like to know how the Jonathan administration got swindled by an impostor to accept a phantom peace deal.
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