Saturday, January 28, 2012

It’s difficult to get Boko Haram for talks – Jonathan …says Islamist sect must show its face, make demands

27 January 2012

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday said members of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, were difficult to negotiate with because they lacked identity.

Jonathan said this during an interview conducted by Reuters in the Presidential Villa.

The violent Islamic sect launched coordinated attacks on Kano on Friday over killing of 186 people.

Jonathan said, “If they clearly identify themselves now and say this is the reason why we are resisting, this is the reason why we are confronting government or this is the reason why we destroy of some innocent people and their property … then there will be a basis for dialogue.

“We will dialogue, let us know your problems and we will solve your problem but if they don’t identify themselves, who will you dialogue with?” (sic)

He, however, added that talks with the group could be difficult because the Islamic sect doesn’t have a clear public figurehead that could be invited for talks.

“If anybody invited Osama bin Laden (to talks), he wouldn’t have appeared … Boko Haram, if you invite them, they will not come. They operate without a face, they operate without a clear identity, so it is difficult to interface with such a group.

“That is the greatest difference between Boko Haram … and the Niger Delta issue. There is no clear thing to say: this is what we want.”

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