Boko Haram 6-Week Election war: the Chad MoU, Prisoners of War and Other Critical Questions

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On the 6th of February, Nigeria’s Chief of Defense, Air Marshal Alex Badeh announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with the Chadians. The details of the MoU have since not been made public.

While appreciating the essentiality of interstate cooperation in the war against terror, Nigerians need to know the modalities of such cooperation especially where terse relationships and past deadly failures and sabotage leading to the death of thousands of Nigerians and its neighbors exists.

We hereby call on the Nigerian government to immediately make a full disclosure of the details of the cooperation between Nigeria and Chad in the war against terror, including terms of compensation available to the public.

We have thus far gathered that over 5000 Boko Haram terrorists have ‘surrendered’ and otherwise been captured by Chad. These members who include Nigerian citizens are being held or perhaps released in Chad.

We will like to know the terms of surrender agreed upon in the MoU. We will like to know how terrorists who have been engaged against the Nigerian state are being dealt with by Chad and the terms of their being surrendered to Nigeria for proper trial and sentencing for their crimes on Nigerian soil. Are they being arrested or deactivated?

We must be informed of the terms of Chad’s handover of Nigerian captured territory to Nigeria at the end of the war.

Importantly, the public demands to know the exact terms of compensation of the Chadian government and government officials for this job.

During the press release announcing the MoU, Channels TV correspondent asked Nigeria’s defense chief what reaction Nigeria took against Chad for pulling out its troops from the Multinational joint task force, MNJTF which led to the massacre of over 2500 innocent Nigerians in Baga. The defense chief sidestepped this question. We demand to know what reaction Nigeria took against Chad for this act in violation of the 2014 Paris treaty that led to the death of thousands of defenseless Nigerians and destruction and looting of property worth billions.

We demand information on the 2014 ceasefire against Boko Haram by Nigeria & Chad. We will like to know if money was involved; how much it was and who it was paid to. Is this ceasefire still on and part of this pre-election war to facilitate recovery of territory?

We will like to know if some main Boko Haram sects have been again paid by these two nations’ leaders to call off/suspend their war; and if so, we will like to know if such members are being allowed impunity or if they are forced to surrender for trial for their crimes against the people of Nigeria and neighbors.

Some reports in the news claim Boko Haram members are returning to Chad and Niger republic, stating that “their contract is over. “ We request information from the Nigerian government on these worrying reports.

We recognize that as many as 40,000 insurgent fighters have been engaged in the war against Nigeria by the Abubakar Shekau-led Boko Haram as well as other groups involved in the ‘Boko Haram’ pogrom against Nigeria’s north; groups like the Khalid al-Barnawi led Harakatu, the Jamaa’atu Ahlis-Sunnah of Bukar Al-Barnawi and the Abu Usamah’s Ansaru and the like. While as we demand government reveals in detail, some of these groups may have signed a ceasefire with the Jonathan government; others have clearly not and continue to fight and these terrorist fighters number several thousands. In recognition of the fact it is impossible and not expected that Nigeria and counterparts seriously intend on killing all these thousands of soldiers, and no amnesty or other surrender program has been advertised; we demand to know what the real modalities of the war against Boko Haram are?

We have read and heard disturbing reports of Boko Haram flyers being distributed in the north by the military, promoting tolerance for Boko Haram. We hope this is not true. We are worried that these killers are being encouraged to return to communities. We pray the federal government allay our fears and explain in full the comprehensive actual plan and 6-week election war engagement strategy.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah.

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