Nigeria’s Islamic fundamentalist Boko Haram sect is set to spearhead fresh wave of killings in the north, following an announcement on Tuesday by its spokesperson of the end of whatever slim chance existed for peaceful negotiations with the government.
In a teleconference call with journalists in Maiduguri Abdu Qaqa stated that the “Almighty God” had already repeatedly told members of the deadly group that the “unbelievers” would never respect any proposal for dialogue. This, he explained, the government had confirmed by its unwillingness to honour promises made in the media concerning dialogue. The group threatened to return to its violent ways, warning that it would never respect any move for negotiations with the government.” “Not long ago, President Goodluck Jonathan made a public statement urging us to come forward for dialogue. He also said we should make our demands clear with a view to resolving the protracted problem in the country. The first condition we gave was the unconditional release of all our members. There was initial meeting between us and the government; and in the process, one of our members, Abu Dardaa, was arrested in Kaduna,” he recalled.
“Since then, we never trusted the government. However, following endless pleas by some notable Nigerians whom we have enormous respect for, we resolved to give dialogue another chance. These people said they would intercede between us and the government; they said they had the capacity and we trusted them, unfortunately however, the opportunity was messed up.”
The recently botched negotiation process, Qaqa said, is the last ever that the group would entertain. “In fact, we have closed all possible doors of negotiation. We would never listen to any call for negotiations. Let the government forces do whatever they feel they can do, while we also use our wherewithal to do what we can. If the government thinks arresting our members will discourage us from launching onslaught, then let them continue arresting and killing our members. He expressed belief that his force would overcome government’s. His words: “We strongly believe that Almighty Allah will give us the power to catch and prosecute government forces. We are optimistic that we would dismantle this government and establish Islamic government in Nigeria.”
“Let the federal government and its agents do what they can; and we in return, would also do what we can. The noble prophet Mohammed was also tried and tested during the war of Uhud; he persevered and at the end of the day, he emerged victorious. The fact is that we don’t have an element of doubt in our minds that one day, we would surely emerge victorious from this onerous encounter.
He enjoined all Muslims in north 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 Islamic clerics and emirs, and also replaced the white Islamic flag with the Union Jack,” he lamented. “We want all our people to come together and restore our lost glory.”
He also had word for journalists, whom he said must abide by their professional calling in the reportage of unfolding events. “Journalists should not to be deterred …. Journalists must adhere to the ethics of their professional calling because, all over the world, everybody knows the role of a journalist. Journalists must remain courageous.”