THERE appears a ray of hope for the Federal Government’s planned amnesty programme for Boko Haram sect members as a leader of the sect, Mohammed Marwan, has hinted that the sect is now ready for dialogue with the Federal Government.
According to the sect leader, the reason the sect ordered the release of the French nationals its members took hostage was to demonstrate its readiness for dialogue with the Federal Government on the way forward in the offer of amnesty.
Marwan, who was speaking in an interview with the Hausa Service of the Voice of America (VOA) monitored in Kaduna on Saturday, explained that he ordered the release of the French nationals who had been in the sect’s custody for about two months after a meeting with 11 other top members during which the decision was taken.
He, however, warned that the agreement would be breached should the government continue its offensive against the sect members or attack any member of the Muslim community unjustly.
According to him, ”those that were in our custody for some time, I gave the directive that they be released yesterday around 2.00 p.m. I gave the directive for their release as a result of some discussions we had amongst us. The discussions revolved around what the government came up with after their meeting with the Northern elders.
“That is why I ordered that they should be released and allowed to go without being handed over to anybody. I said a vehicle should be brought so that they go back to where they came from inbetween Cameroon and Adamawa. It was as result of the many calls and the preparations ahead. That was why I gave that order after our joint meeting; 12 of us had met.”
Commenting on the amnesty committee set up by the government, Marwan said it was high time the government stopped what it was doing to the sect members and the sect too ceased fire.
“We thank Allah; we should all sit. They should stop what they are doing and we too should stop what we are doing. I also directed that no security official will be touched unless he touches us or the Muslim community; those who committed no crime, as we will revenge if they do that. But I have given that directive so that we would see how they will go about it. (So will it be) unless another confusion comes up again,” he said.