Nigerian defense officials are saying that the government has reached a cease-fire agreement with Boko Haram, and that one of the terms of the deal is the release of 276 girls kidnapped in April from their school in the village of Chibok. Various news agencies inside and outside Nigeria have picked up the announcement. See: Daily Post Nigeria; Premium Times Nigeria; BBC; AFP; CNN.
Amid this hopeful news, there is reason to be cautious. Nigeria’s military has made bold pronouncements about Boko Haram in the past, only to backtrack later.
“Based on experience of what we have seen and what the Nigerian government has been saying, we need to see the practical effect of what they are saying, not just a statement on the news. The Nigerian government used to say the same kind of things and nothing happened,” said Rev. Samuel Dali, President of EYN Church, contacted by World Watch Monitor in the Nigeria’s northeastern state of Adamawa. “I prefer to wait and see, because I don’t trust Nigerian politicians and what they are saying. I don’t trust them at all.”
Dr. Bitrus Pogu, a Chibok community leader, told World Watch Monitor that it’s too early to comment, and that more time is needed to confirm the announcement.