As reactions continue to greet the ceasefire deal between the federal government and the Boko Haram insurgents, Nigerians have been advised not to celebrate yet.
Speaking on the development, a former Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and leader of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Prof Ango Abdullahi, blamed the government for failing to find an early solution to the conflict that has claimed over 23,000 lives in the country.
He accused the federal government of believing erroneously that the insurgents would be subdued by force or other means.
He said no price was too high to pay for peace, and that the initial rejection of proposals for dialogue by well meaning Nigerians and groups has raised questions about the sincerity of the government in the whole affair.
His words,” I am not excited. We have had it before and it didn’t click. One needs to get the details of what transpired. Such agreements between opposing entities usually come with details. No side has given us any details yet.
“The federal government that made the announcement did not give us any details. If it is genuine, it is welcome. Peace is good. No nation develops in a peaceless environment. We hope and pray for peace. No price is too high to pay for peace.”
He continued:” They thought they could win through other means, or force. The government should be blamed for the long crises. They were foot -dragging. As a member of the Northern Elders Forum, we prepared a document for government in May 2012, to bring an end to the war. The president accepted it, and even used part of it.
“We later got information that he was under severe pressure from 5th columnists in government who prevailed on him to dump it, and go for a declaration of state of emergency,” he added.
He urged the government to seize the initiative and begin to resolve all issues connected with the grievances of the sect for a long lasting peace.