Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Boko Haram suspends talks with government

Boko Haram yesterday said they would no longer accept overtures for dialogue with the Federal Government because the botched efforts through Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmad confirmed government's lack of sincerity.

A purported spokesman for the group who goes by the nom de guerre Abul Qaqa told journalists in Maiduguri in a teleconference that the collapse of Dr. Ahmad's efforts was a vindication of their long-held belief that government was never sincere in its offer for talks with the sect.

Datti, who is president of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria, issued a statement on Saturday, saying he was pulling out of efforts to broker a truce with Boko Haram because of alleged insincerity of the government, citing leakage of the talks.

Yesterday, Abul Qaqa confirmed that Dr. Datti had approached them through freelance journalist Ahmad Salkida, who on Sunday denied being part of any "imaginary" talks with Boko Haram.

Abul Qaqa said the sect, which calls itself Jama'atu Ahlis Sunnati Lidda'awati Wal Jihad, was sceptical of the Datti overtures because of previous disappointments.

"We have said it severally that the Federal Government is deceiving Nigerians and the world and we know that they will never be ready for dialogue," he said.

"Almighty God has told us repeatedly that the unbelievers will never respect the promises they made. As such, henceforth, we would never respect any proposal for dialogue. In fact, we have closed all possible doors of negotiation. We would never listen to any call to lay down our arms."

He added: "The truth is that we have been doubtful on the seriousness and purposeful commitment of the government. It was the Datti group that thought the Federal Government could be trusted. They approached us and said we should give them a chance and we did, unfortunately, they have been disappointed."

Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for wave of deadly attacks in the North, including suicide bombings in Abuja, Jos, Maiduguri, Madalla and Kano.

Its deadliest strike was in Kano on January 20, but security sources claimed that series of top-level arrests has considerably weakened the sect.

Abul Qaqa said yesterday the sect would continue its campaign until it achieves an Islamic state.

"We are calling on all Muslims in this part of the world to accept the clarion call and fight for the restoration of the Caliphate of Usman Danfodio which the white man fought and fragmented.

"The white man killed prominent northern Islamic clerics and emirs and also replaced the white Islamic flag with the Union Jack. We want all our people to come together and restore our lost glory," he said.

There was no immediate comment from the Federal Government over the latest statement by Boko Haram.

Daily Trust

Related stories: Nigerian government begins talks with Boko Haram 

Video - President Goodluck Jonathan wants dialogue with Boko Haram

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