Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - The Islamic sect Boko Haram has said it will no longer accept any offer of talks from the Nigerian government, following the botched mediation between the two last week.
“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,'' the local media Wednesday quoted sect's spokesman Abul Qaga as telling journalists in the northern city of Maiduguri.
''If the government thinks arresting our members will discourage us from launching onslaught, then let them continue arresting and killing our members,” he said.
The President of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN), Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmad, who was mediating between the government and the sect, announced in a statement on Saturday that he was ending that role due to alleged leakage of the discussions to the media.
“This development (leakage of details of the discussions) has embarrassed us very much and has created strong doubts in our minds about the sincerity on the government’s side in our discussion as the discussion is supposed to be very confidential to achieve any success,'' Dr Ahmad said in the statement.
Qaga called on all Muslims ''in this part of the world'' to join the fight for the restoration of the Caliphate of the Usman Danfodio, saying the sect would not relent until an Islamic State has been put in place in Nigeria.
Since launching its violent campaign in 2009, the sect has killed over 1,200 people, most of them in the predominantly-Muslim northern Nigeria, according to the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyin Petinrin.
According to local media reports, the sect had said - before the talks were botched - that it would agree to a three-month ceasefire if all its arrested members are released.
-0- PANA SEG 21Mar2012