More Questions as Boko Haram rules out talks with FG
Nigerians on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 were awoken with the news that Islamist sect Boko Haram ruled out talks with the federal government.
A purported spokesman for the radical Islamist sect said on Tuesday, the group had “closed all possible doors of negotiation” with a government of “unbelievers” that it cannot trust, and called on Muslims to join the fight against it.
The statement to journalists in the sect’s heartland of Maiduguri in Borno State came two days after a Muslim cleric brokering initial peace talks pulled out, dimming hopes of a negotiated end to the insurgency.
The negotiations were aimed at ending months of bomb and gun attacks by Boko Haram that killed hundreds, mostly in the majority Muslim north, and have at times dominated Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency.
Lagos resident, Precious Ose Idehen who spoke to Reuters said it was not clear what Boko Haram is fighting for, so the group should enter into dialogue and state their demands.
“Their aim is just to destroy the present government, to destabilise Mr. President from getting up to what he has planned for the nation. That is the truth. There is nothing you will give to the Boko Haram that will make them say we are tired. If they want the dialogue, if there is anything they need, they should come out and say it. It’s their own nation, they should come out and say it.”
Success Olawale Martins, an unemployed graduate of Business Administration, said President Goodluck Jonathan had tried to keep peace with the sect long enough.
“For the sake of peace, for the sake of unity of the nation, he has given them a long rope. And at the end of the day, they are not coming. If, I think at this time, if he reacts against them, I don’t think he has done anything wrong.”
And insurance broker, Ambrose Ochonogor went even further to add that the government should openly fight Boko Haram.
“It is high time federal government resorted to jungle justice. If they can’t dialogue with them, then they should resort to other measures. They should fight them openly, make sure they eliminate them.”
Boko Haram has said it wants to impose Islamic sharia law across Nigeria, which is split equally between Christians and Muslims. But with the spate of killings in recent times, has cast a shadow of doubt over the group’s demands, hence the call for dialogue by the Federal Government.