Boko Haram have thanked Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai for herÂ role in helping mediate a landmark ceasefire deal between the groupÂ and the Nigerian army.
Nigerian media announced on Friday that the militant group, which has beenÂ responsible for the deaths of thousands of people since 2009, had reachedÂ an agreementÂ with the Nigerian army, which would include the releaseÂ of the estimated 200 schoolgirls abducted earlier thisÂ year.
“Malala appeared to our leader [Abubakar Shekau] in a dream and said that kidnappingÂ girls was not the answer,” an unnamed spokesperson said on a video released by the group.
“We will go back to focusing on restricting boys education, becauseÂ there is less stress in that industry,” he said.
More than 200 schoolgirls were abducted from the northern NigerianÂ town of Chibok when armed fighters raided the town in April. AroundÂ 50 girls were able to escape, but a vast majority disappeared with the fighters into theÂ thick jungles bordering Cameroon. The story prompted worldwideÂ outrage.
A social media campaign, #bringbackourgirls, was started in Nigeria in aÂ bid to pressure the Nigerian government to negotiate with the fightersÂ to return the schoolgirls to their families.
Celebrities including Michelle ObamaÂ andÂ Justin Timberlake usedÂ theÂ hashtag to garner support.
Boko Haram said that the social media campaign was also a strongÂ motivating factor in formulating the truce.
“Some of the tweets were very touching … [they] brought tears to ourÂ eyes,” the spokesperson said.
Editor’s note: This article originally stated that Justin Bieber had participated in the #BringbackOurGirls campaign. It was in fact Justin Timberlake and we have now corrected this error. We apologize to Justin. Both of them.
Abu Oâ€™Well is almost an award-winning satirist with the Daily Vox. Read more of his writing here.