On October 17, BBC reports, the Nigerian Chief of Defense, Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh  announced the federal government had agreed to a temporary ceasefire with the terrorist organization Boko Haram in exchange for the release of the more than 200 schoolgirls who had been abducted from a boarding school in Chibok, Borno, Nigeria, on April 14, 2014 [1]. However, this federal government announcement has not yet been confirmed by the terrorists leaving much skepticism regarding the veracity of this announcement. The U.S. State Department was not able to “independently confirm” the piece of news, while authorities in Cameroon said they have been involved in tripartite negotiations with Boko Haram and Nigeria[2]. If the authorities should achieve the release of the girls, this success will benefit incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan who will shortly launch his election campaign for a second term as head of state.

The coincidence will prompt speculation considering ongoing accusations alleging cooperation between some of Jonathan’s intimates[3] and Boko Haram. However, if the military chief of defense’s announced release of the Chibok girls will be proven false, the Nigerian Army will again find itself in an extremely unpleasant situation, with its credibility once more placed under a huge question mark. This news is quite surprising, especially considering the apparent disarray and large number of battlefield failures of the Nigerian military. Unanswered questions remain: why would Boko Haram do such a favor for the incumbent Nigerian president at such a critical moment? What would Boko Haram gain from such a deal, a caliphate in the northeast of Nigeria, perhaps, or something else?



[1]“Nigeria and Boko Haram 'agree ceasefire and girls' release'”, October 17, 2014, BBC NEWS Africa, at the Internet address

[2] Felix ONUAH and Camillus EBOH, Nigeria says reaches deal with Boko Haram to free abducted girls, Reuters, October , 2014, at he Internet address

[3] “Exposing the CBN Boko Haram “sponsor””, Vanguard, September 19, 2014, at the Internet address

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