A faction of the notorious Boko Haram group has responded to President Jonathan’s allegations that they were faceless and would not receive amnesty, since amnesty cannot be given to ghosts.
The group made the proclamation in a statement made by Sheikh Muhammad Abdul’aziz, and distributed to journalists in Maiduguri. The group said its members could not be ghosts as they have been in dialogue with the Borno State government and the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF).
Abdul’aziz said: “As regards the statement by Mr. President that we are ghosts, let me say with due respect that we are not ghosts; we have sat with officials of the Borno State Government and a delegation of Northern State Governors’ Forum on Peace and Reconciliation, headed by Air Vice Marshall Mukhtar Muhammad (rtd.).”
Abdul’aziz also said the video clip on YouTube credited to Shekau, where he dissociated the group from the ceasefire and dialogue offer was fake.
He said: “About a week ago, somebody who claimed to be leader of Jama’atul Ahlul Sunnah Lid-Da’waati Wal Jihad, Sheikh Abubakar Shekau, appeared on You Tube and disclaimed peace process going on between the government of Borno State and the group. The purported Sheikh Abubakar Shekau, went further to say that he does not know Sheikh Mohammed Ibn Abdul’aziz. Let me state that the man who appeared on the said YouTube is not Sheikh Abubakar Shekau. The voice is not his and sheikh has never hidden his face.
“Sheikh’s voice is heavily Kanuri accented. The man (in the video) is an impostor deliberately brought to the frontline by those opposed to the peace process.
“I call on (Borno State) Governor Kashim Shettima, to disregard all those propaganda aimed at disrupting the peace process as we are ready and willing to continue to dialogue with government.
“Sheikh knows me and has confidence in my ability and is aware and he blessed the peace process. When I was being sworn in as munzul, that we are going to work for the sake of Allah by the late leader of the group, Sheikh Muhammad Yusuf, he did so in the presence of Sheikh Mallam Ibrahim Mubi, Mallam Ibrahim Agaji, Mallam Sani Kontagora and Babagana Mulima. So, it is impossible for the sheikh to say he does not know me while it is he who promoted me to my present position,” he added.