According to Premium Times, one Abu Mohamed Abdulazeez who claims to be the second in command in the sect's leadership hierarchy spoke to journalists in Maiduguri on behalf of the overall leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, saying that they decided to end the crisis because they had come to a realization that Muslims suffer from the attacks and wanted Muslims to live peacefully. He said the announcement of the ceasefire followed a series of meetings it held with the government of Borno State where it got commitments from the government that its members in captivity will be released.
Although he agreed that there were factions within the group, he said the supreme power to order a ceasefire rested with the leadership of Imam Abubakar Shekau, who is the leader of the authentic group.
The statement made available to Punch reads:
"I, Sheikh Muhammed Abdulazeez Ibn Idris, is the 2nd Commander- in-charge of southern and northern Borno after Imam Abubakar Shekau of Jamaatul Ahjlil Sunna lidawati wal Jihad otherwise known as Boko Haram.
"For sometime now, we the members of Jamaatul ahlil Boko Haram sunna lidawati wal jihad otherwise known as Boko Haram have recently had a meeting and dialogue with the government of Borno State where we resolved that given the prevailing situation, there is the need for us to cease fire.
"We, on our own, in the top hierarchy of our movement under the leadership of Imam Abubakar Shekau, as well as some of our notable followers agreed that our brethren in Islam, both women and children are suffering unnecessarily; hence we resolved that we should bring this crisis to an end.
"We therefore call on all those that identify themselves with us and our cause, to from today(Monday) lay down their arms. Let every member who hears this announcement relay it to the next member who hasn't heard.
"We have met with the Borno State Government on two occasions and the fallout of the meeting was to cease fire. Presently, we are going to comply with the ceasefire order and by the time we are done with that, then security agencies could go ahead and arrest whoever they find carrying arms or killing under our name. We are very much aware of the fact that some criminals have infiltrated our movement and continued attacking and killing people using our name.
"Of course, there is a faction within us, but the larger faction of our movement is the one in support of this ceasefire move. Moreover, once top members of our group, including Imam Abubakar Shekau, are in support of the need for ceasefire, other smaller factions can be dealt with easily.
"This message, by the Grace of Allah, comes directly from the office of Imam Abubakar Shekau, the supreme leader of Jamaatul ahlil Sunna lidawati wal Jihad."
When Channels TV tried to contact the Borno State Government, the Special Adviser to the state governor on Media, Isa Gusau, in a telephone interview said he could not confirm the meeting between the Borno State government and the Boko Haram sect.
We sincerely hope this brings an end to the killings and bloodshed by members of the sect and pray for continued peace in Nigeria.