“We want Dr Jonathan one on one. No police, no nothing. And if he doesn’t address us in the next 78 hours, we are going to strike, and, this time around, we are coming to Abuja and Lagos. We are not hiding it; we are going to see to it.”
With these words, a caller on phone, who claimed to be speaking on behalf of the Islamist group, Boko Haram, on the television station, AIT, yesterday, indicated the sect’s preparedness to negotiate truce terms with President Goodluck Jonathan.
The call came on the heels of the advice by the secretary general of the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, Dr Lateef Adegbite, that the Federal Government should negotiate with the group that claimed responsibility for several bombings and gun attacks in some northern towns.
But the Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr Sunday Ola Makinde, asked Jonathan to be courageous in the face of the security challenge posed by Boko Haram.
The Presidency kept mum, yesterday, just as the minister of interior, Comrade Abba Moro, called on Nigerians to stand up against terrorists in the country.
The caller,purportedly on behalf of Boko Haram, yesterday, on AIT, gave “the reasons of what we want.”
“Many, many things,” he stated.
Asked by his interviewer to tell Nigerians what he thinks the president should do to stop the bombings, the caller went on: “First of all, when (former President)Obasanjo visited our brother Mohammed Yussuf’s family to make arrangement for us to make an agreement, when he left, soldiers arrested our brother and handed him to the SSS and the police had to kill our brother.
I am going to summarize what we want. Firstly,release some people he (the president) arrested.
Secondly, if Jonathan wants to cooperate with us, he must follow what the letter we sent to…. He must accept to our proposal which we demand. He knows what we want. Second…..You know…. the application of Sharia Islamic law … (in the north) and the reason he permitted …and how our members who were detained.
“…Ali Modu Sherrif, Alhaji Abubakar, and all must be arrested; former Minister of Police Affairs and Mr. Ibrahim Yakubu must be arrested.
“So ,now, I will tell you what we want so that we can stop our riots: we want Dr. Jonathan one on one. We want to meet him one on one. No police, nothing …nothing. And if he doesn’t address us in the next 78 hours, we are going to strike and, this time around, we are coming to Abuja and Lagos. We are not hiding it, we are going to see to it. And this time around, it is not something that we are going to take easy. Because…..He knows what our problem was…do you understand me?”
Then the interviewer asked, “You people want to negotiate with the President directly”…
The caller replied:”They are the ones causing our riot…it’s a problem, and if he wants to make negotiations with us directly here, two conditions: First, he must come to Yobe State, with no police or security with him…Second, he must appear at AIT station, we will put a number, he will call us an dwe tell him our reason. We want to talk to him openly, we want the public to know what is the problem, we don’t want to say something privately. We want it openly.”
Meanwhile, the Presidency refused to comment on the Boko Haram offer on talks and negotiation.
All the officials contacted, yesterday, kept mum.
Read the rest of the story on allAfrica.com