Negotiators threaten to withdraw from govt, Boko Haram talks

2012-03-19
THE GUARDIAN Newspaper- Njadvara Musa

THE architects of the ongoing dialogue between the Federal Government and the Boko Haram sect are disturbed over their alleged leakage of the details of the talks to the media.

In a reaction to the development yesterday, the negotiators said the development might make the affected parties to lose confidence in the credibility of the exercise, saying they would quit from it.

The President of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN), Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmad, who commented on the matter, expressed “anger and disappointment” over the leaking of the preliminary discussions between the council and the government on how to end the attacks and killings by Boko Haram in the country.

Ahmad said the leakage of the talks to the media, created strong doubts on the sincerity of the government in the minds of Nigerians, who wanted to intervene and dialogue with the armed group.

Ahmad in a statement he issued yesterday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, said initially, there was an agreement between the council and the government that the discussions on the dialogue with the group would be confidential, so that they could achieve the desired objectives of promoting peace and unity in the country.

He said: “As a concerned elder and President of SCSN, I felt very disturbed with the turn of events and the increasing cycle of massive violence in our country, and especially, in the Northern and Muslim part of Nigeria.

“We, in the SCSN, therefore, made enquiries as to how to reach the leadership of the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnati Lidda Awati wal Jihad (Boko Haram).

“Our enquiries led us to a reporter whom we realised maintained a close and valuable professional contact with leadership of the sect. Through this gentleman, we contacted the leadership of the sect and established from them that, as Muslims, they were prepared to consider “Sullhu,” meaning, broader reconciliations on the dispute between them (sect members) and government.

 

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