Sunday, February 12, 2012

SSS Storms NTA, Seizes Boko Haram Video Tape

This Day
9 February 2012

The State Security Service (SSS) on Tuesday night stormed the premises of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and took possession of the recorded video tape containing the names of the negotiators that Boko Haram had nominated to represent it at the planned dialogue with the Federal Government, THISDAY has learnt.

This occurred before the Federal Government’s statement Wednesday that it remains open to dialogue as a way of resolving the Boko Haram menace, but added that the series of bomb attacks carried out by the sect since it started its violent campaign in the North has dealt a deadly blow to the region’s economy.

The television station, had during its 9pm news bulletin on Tuesday, aired a recorded message directed at the Federal Government that announced the names of the sect’s nominees to the talks.

THISDAY sources within the intelligence circles revealed that part of the SSS’s grouse against the NTA was that the television station failed to get the necessary clearance from the relevant authorities before it aired the tape. The SSS is also said to be trying to verify the authenticity of the tape.

A top security source said in Abuja yesterday that “the matter is being investigated, but we have halted it.”

Explaining what he meant by “halted”, he said: “There was no clearance and the names have not been accepted by all the leadership of the group.”

He added: “From all indications, the names emerged from a faction of the group and we need to ensure that government talks with the real group.”

President Goodluck Jonathan had challenged the sect to make itselves available and state its demands to open the way for dialogue.

After days of silence, Boko Haram or a faction of the sect responded on Tuesday by naming Sheik Abubakar Gero, Dr. Shettima Ali Monguno, Alhaji Junadu Idris, Aisha Al Wakil, and former governor of Yobe State, Senator Bukar Ibrahim to hold negotiations with the Federal Government on its behalf.

The sect’s team was made public the same day multiple bomb blasts rocked the Kaduna metropolis. The explosions occurred at the 1 Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army (Dalet Barracks), 500 metres away from the Nigeria Air Force Base located along
Mando Road
, and the flyover at Kawo in Kaduna, all within the same vicinity.

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