Daily Trust (Abuja)

24 August 2012

Nigeria: Boko Haram Denies Dialogue With Govt

Maiduguri — The Jama'atu Ahlis Sunnati Lidda'awati Wal Jihad, aka Boko Haram, has debunked reports that it has accepted to dialogue with the Federal Government, and wondered why the media was giving publicity to what it described as unfounded claims.

A statement signed by Abul-Qaqa, which was emailed to newsmen, said the group recognized only two attempted dialogue offers in 2011 even though both of them failed midway.

The moves, according to the group, include the time it sent one of its leaders Abu Dardaa for talks with government agents, but was arrested by security forces in Kaduna, while the second time was when the group was approached by Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmed through an Abuja based freelance journalist. Qaqa said any other claim that the group was approached by anybody or group is not true and warned media organizations against conspiring with government officials to mislead the public.

"There is no difference between those who fight us with guns and those who fight us with their tongues and pens. All of them are our enemies and we would not be merciful in dealing with them. This is a very important, it is a response to the news we heard in the media alluding to the fact that we (members of the group) have renewed dialogue talks with the Federal Government. We want to use this opportunity to send strong warning to the following: The first group is the media (both print and electronic). We want to remind them that the reason why we earmarked some media houses for attacks, including Thisday is because they have not been fair to us and are extremely critical about our cause of promoting Islam," the group said.

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