Boko Haram Shurah Council in Video Confirms Ceasefire Deal with FG Amnesty Committee
The Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North on Friday said it has signed another peace deal with the Boko Haram Shura Council which is the highest decision making body of the dreaded sect.
Addressing State House Correspondents alongside other committee members at the Banquet Hall today, Chairman of the committee, Tanimu Turaki showed a video clip of the Shura committee announcing (in Arabic and Hausa) the decision to enter into genuine peace negotiations with government based on the tenets of Islam, the teachings of Prophet Muhammed and the writings of eminent Islamic scholars and jurists.
The minister said the essence of making public the two-week-old video clip was to prove to Nigerians that indeed, there has been dialogue between government team and the Shura Council, which resolved to place its confidence on the Turaki committee.
Turaki said the Boko Haram sect was “a very disciplined group which respects seniority” and it is strongly believed that upon watching the video and hearing the Shura members in their own words, field operatives of the group would recognise their leaders and be bound to embrace dialogue.
“It is incumbent on all true muslims to accept dialogue. They (Shura members) have called on their members and muslims to give peace a chance”, said Turaki.
The committee boss added that “we need to build confidence to open line of communication. When we build on dialogue, we will get to the next stage of total ceasefire. We have not got to that level yet. No conditions have been finalised”.
He however, disclosed that the committee was still making efforts towards meeting another set of senior leaders of the group, and a splinter group – Ansaru – even as he said he could not get confirmation from the military operatives in Borno state to confirm the death of the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.
Turaki admitted that there is no clear nexus between this Shura committee and the second-in-command with whom government reportedly secured an earlier peace deal, or with Shekau who is yet to be personally reached.
He further explained that his committee had no mandate to pay compensation to victims of Boko Haram attacks, but will advise government on how to bring “succour” to victims.
Turaki added that a list of victims will be compiled, including circumstances surrounding their losses.
He assured the public that the committee will deliver results before the end of its assignment on September, 24.
He however disclosed that it may not be possible that dialogue with every single leader will have been reached by the end of the committee’s work, but that a framework for further work will be handed over to government.
According to the 30-minute video, Muhammad Lawal Ibn Suleiman who Spoke in Arabic on behalf of the Shura Council said: “Glory to Allah (SWT), the most high who enjoined us to fight enemies and the infidels who also enjoined us to answer the call to dialogue with the infidels and the enemies whenever they request for that.
Praise also be to the noble Prophet of Allah, Muhammed (SAW) whom peace is upon him and his companions and those who follow them in good faith up to the day of resurrection.
We are indeed surprised by the visit paid to us by a dialogue committee set up by the federal government of Nigeria.
We are more surprised that the committee met us in prison custody and explained to us reasons for their visit and also asked four fundamental questions.
Firstly, is it possible to dialogue and reach peaceful resolution of the conflict between our brothers and the federal government who are engaged in fighting?
Secondly, which way is the dialogue going to follow?
Thirdly, which assistance those of us in detention would give in realisation of that?
Fourthly, what assistance do the detainees need to facilitate the dialogue?
My response is as follows with the hope that it will in accordance with Allah’s injunctions.
Indeed dialogue between the Jihadists and the government is possible. This is because dialogue is well rooted in Islam as Allah says in the Chapter of Anfal in the Quran. “If they turn to peaceful coexistence you also should follow suit… Allah indeed is all hearing and all knowing”.
Alhafiz Ibn Kharhik said “if they turn to dialogue you should accept to do it”.
It was based on these that when the pagans sought for ceasefire for 10 years with the Holy Prophet in the year of the treaty of Hudaihiyyah, the Prophet accepted their terms, and that was it.
Ha’ad said there are lots of benefits in heeding to call in the verse which instructed the prophet to positively respond to other party’s call for dialogue as quoted above.
Some of the benefits include forgiveness which is desirable at all times. So if they approached you first, it is better up to the point where he said: what is feared in dialogue is treachery.
But in this Allah went on to say it is sufficient for the Muslims and if the infidels embark on any deceit, it will boomerang.
Abdullahi Bin Mas’ud said, you regard the conquest of Markkah from infidelity as the greatest achievement and is considered the treaty of Hudairiyya as the key that opens Makkah.
Jibin Bin Abdullahi also said similar thing. Raka’u Bin Malik also said the treaty of Hudairiyya is key to conquest of Makkah.
In view of the authorities quoted and several others similar to them, it is pertinent for brothers, the Jihadists to bend towards dialogue with the government as a deference to Allah’s injunction.
In the verse mentioned earlier, Allah also said, it is not proper for the belivers to follow their desire if Allah and his apostles decided on a matter. May Allah help us.
Here are opinions of scholars on the matter of the questions.
Imam Ibn Kayyum Al-Auza’I, in his book Zadul-Ma’ad Fi Hadyi Khairil Ibad, after espousing a chapter on the treaty of Hudairiyyah set a new chapter on the benefit of the treaty.
Among them include the fact that the pegans and transgressors ask for any matter which remain within the domain of the creator.
The believers should accept to the request even if they stood on the way to the realisation of their goal, so long as it will not lead to the greatest sin.
This is one of the most difficult moments for the companions of the prophet.
Ibn Kayyum also said, it is incumbent on a leader to take advantage of any window that will bring peace for the people. He should not even wait to be approached.
Reaching peace with non-belivers is lawful so long as it will bring relief to believers. Peace accord he said has multiple advantages to believers.
Also the treaty of Hudairiyyah which legalised repatration of believers who migrated to the unbelievers as well as the clause which prohibited repatriation of deserters excluding women was accepted, though unfavourable to Muslims.
Further benefit of treaty Hudairiyyah which followed the conquest of Makkah was the ceasation of hostility for 10 years and ceasation could go beyond the 10 years if the need arose particularly when the people are at weak point.
Ash-shaikh Mustapha in his book: Kaddul-Mukhtari Sharitul Tanwiril Absat said,
It is permissible to reach peace accord and lay down arms with reparation to or against us because of the Allah’s saying, when you turn to peace, turn to it with completeness and depend on Allah” Quran Chapter 8:61
Al Imam Razi said pertaining the explanation of this verse of this verse: “you should know when the enemies become frightened and if they turn to peaceful resolution, you should accept. Al-Sheirk Yusuf Alqadawi said in his book, Pokinul Jihad, it is foolhardy for Muslims to wait until when they are offered power by the enemy before making conciliation particularly when it is imminent that the enemy is far stronger and that they cannot match them.
It will amount to arrogance that if one continues fight under the prevailing condition, a situation which will not make the weaker stronger nor the stronger weaker.
If the Muslim leadership reviews the situation and foresaw the danger in the continuation of the war, then it has to be stopped even without the prompting of the enemy. This is exactly what our leader, Muhammad Yusuf did when he saw the situation deteriorating then. Allah is the best of judges.
Finally, I hope my fellow brothers who claimed to align themselves with the movement of Muhammad Yusuf will come to reason with the citations made from the scriptures.
They should also see beyond their eyes, the condition of the religion and the people under the present circumstance and embrace peace. It is indeed evident enough.
Praise is to Allah and his messenger and peace be unto you all.”
While about 10 members of the Council appeared in the video, the names of about three others were mentioned as Abdul-Auza’i, Al-Darnawo and Al-Maliki.
After playing the Arabic version of the video on a projector which was also translated in Hausa, the minister told reporters that:
“What you watched is a video clip of some members of the Jama’atul Ahli Sunnat Nida’atul Waljihad , who have sat down in Shura, the highest decision-making body and analysed from purely Islamic perspective, taking into account the clear and unambiguous provisions of the Holy Qura’an and taken also into account the teachings and fundamentally the practices of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) on the issue of dialogue and peaceful reconciliation, strengthening submissions again with the works of other Islamic scholars globally who have had cause in their life times to also make research and came on with a lot of literature supporting the cause on dialogue and stating the parameters and condition under which dialogue can take place.
“These people have clearly accepted the dialogue option and not only that they have insisted and as far as issues of dialogue are raised that it becomes incumbent on the Moslems to accept that dialogue option. In-fact, they said as far as issue of dialogue is concerned a Muslim or a person who is claiming to be a Muslim or a person who wants to live his life in accordance strictly with the teachings of the Qura’an and the Holy Prophet Muhammad has no option as far as the issue of dialogue was concerned. Now they have also called on those their members who are on the field to accept the dialogue option in the spirit of peaceful co-existence and then give peace a chance.
“We are also on the other perspective, discussing with other very respected and key leaders who are in the field and discussions are also getting to very advanced stages. As soon we get to the point where we have gotten to other officers or leadership, we will also inform you and through you inform not only Nigerians but the international committee that dialogue option as envisaged by Mr. President is not only working but indeed, it has glaringly established the wisdom of Mr. President in giving this option so that Nigerians will be able to resolve this problem of insecurity once and for all and make Nigeria a better and safer environment for everybody.”
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