Nigeria’s Boko Haram sect has denied reports making the rounds that they are entering into dialogue negotiations with the nation’s government. Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sin”, has claimed responsibility for several attacks targeting security and government officials, even places of worship. Since 2009, the sect’s violence has claimed over 1,500 lives and dialogue has proven difficult as the sect remains faceless.
However, a few days ago, Nigeria’s Information Minister Labaran Maku had hinted that the Federal Government was in talks with the elusive dangerous sect. Maku had said that the point of the dialogue was to end the violence that has so far plagued the north and “disrupted social and economic activities in some parts of Northern Nigeria”.
“We have always called on those engaging in violence to stop because violence can’t solve any problem. So we welcome the decision to dialogue,” the Minister of Information said.
But in a new statement released by Boko Haram and translated from the Hausa language, the sect denied engaging in dialogue. They dismissed the media reports as false, saying the media has been guilty of “entering our matter without being just and fair to us”.
According to the statement, Boko Haram’s stance on dialogue with the government remains unchanged. They are not willing to dialogue. The statement referred to recent video messages released by the sect and featuring their spiritual leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau, in which the sect had dismissed any notion of negotiating with the Federal Government.
“Instead of giving prominence and stand by the video, they now brought this false story that we are meeting with Nigerian government in Saudi Arabia, with one fake person called Abu-Muhammad claiming to be Imam Shekau’s assistant. It is all an agenda to confused and change the perception people in this region have about this holy war of Jihad we are fighting. By the grace of Allah they will not succeed on us, to us there is no difference between those fighting us with arms and those with pen/tongue,” the statement reads.
They denied any attempts at dialogue except for the last one broached by Dr. Ibrahim Datti, saying even then they hadn’t gone through him directly, but had used a journalist Ahmad Salkida who they trusted.
As to its demands, the sect finally articulated them, saying they want the widespread adoption of Sharia law, the adoption of the Quran as book of laws in Nigeria and demanded that the nation set aside the constitution, which it referred to as “infidel’s product”.
The group threatened that should the government not agree to its demands then they “should not dream about peace in Nigeria”.
“There is no single day that Mujahideens will stop fighting in Nigeria until that is achieved and we are hopeful to triumph over Nigerian government,” the statement said.
But the Federal Government is paying no heed to the demands. In the last video message, Shekau had called on both Jonathan and his US counterpart, President Barack Obama to “forsake Christianity”. Shekau further demanded that President Jonathan step down from office, but the presidency dismissed the demands as “mere blackmail”.
Read the full statement from Boko Haram below.
Glory be to Almighty God, and blessings to Prophet Mohammed (SWT). This is a very important message from Jama’atu Ahlissunnah Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad. Base on the information some cross section of the media have been disseminating that we are dialoguing with, the Federal Government of Nigeria. It is against this back drop that we want to present advise and warning to three sides on this matter.
The media like it is known drag themselves into our war like we did to THISDAY because they have been entering our matter without being just and fair to us. Recently we released a Video and in it our leader, Imam explained thoroughly on the issue of dialogue, but some section of the media because of their conspiracy refused to air it accordingly rather they twisted it.
Instead of giving prominence and stand by the video, they now brought this false story that we are meeting with Nigerian government in Saudi Arabia, with one fake person called Abu-Muhammad claiming to be Imam Shekau’s assistant. It is all an agenda to confused and change the perception people in this region have about this holy war of Jihad we are fighting. By the grace of Allah they will not succeed on us, to us there is no difference between those fighting us with arms and those with pen/tongue.
To those using our name as our representatives, they are using our name and getting money from government. We heard that they are collecting huge amount of money using dubious means. We are calling on them to fear God and repent before they fall into the hands of Allah’s soldiers.
They should stop cheating Islam; we have never attempted any dialogue except that of Dr. Ibrahim Datti even that it was not direct, but via one journalist Ahmad Salkida who we trusted. And since that failed we have not done anything sort of that. We have also heard that Dr. Ibrahim Datti has also entered another plot to that effect; we are calling on elderly people to hold their respect and not dent their image.
To Nigerian government, we are calling on the government to know that once it is not Sharia law that will be adopted in Nigeria, and Quran as book of laws in Nigeria, setting aside constitution that is mainly infidel’s product. Then the government should not dream about peace in Nigeria. There is no single day that Mujahideens will stop fighting in Nigeria until that is achieved and we are hopeful to triumph over Nigerian government.
This release was translated from Hausa