This is the text of a press conference given by Boko haram Spokesman Abu Qaqa to journalists via speakerphone. The interview was given in Hausa and translated into English. Note I was not at this meeting, I was sent the text by someone who was.
Abu Qaqa: This is an important message on the issue that occupied the media in respect of negotiaitions between our group and the government.
Not long ago, President Goodluck Jonathan made a public statement urging us to come forward for dialogue. He also said we should make our demands clear with a view to resolving the protracted problem in the country.
The first condition we gave was the need for unconditional release of all our members. There was initial meeting between us and the government and in the process, one of our members, Abu Dardaa was arrested in Kaduna.
Since then, we never trusted the government. However, following endless plea by some notable Nigerian, whom we have enormous respect for, we resolved to give another chance.
These people said they would intercede between us and the government, they said they have the capacity and we trusted them, unfortunately however, the opportunity was messed up.
Almighty God has told us repeatedly that the unbelievers will never respect the promises they made. As such, henceforth, we would never respect any proposal for dialogue.
In fact, we have closed all possible doors of negotiation. We would never listen to any call for negotiations. Let the government forces do whatever they feel they can do and we too would use all the warewithal at our disposal and do what we can.
If the government thinks arresting our members will discourage us from launching onslaught, then let them continue arresting and killing our members.
We strongly believe that Almighty Allah will give us the power to catch and prosecute government forces. We are optimistic that we would dismantle this government and establish Islamic government in Nigeria.
Let the federal government and its agents do what they can; and we in return, would also do what we can.
The noble prophet Mohammed was also tried and tested during the war of Uhud, he persevered and at the end of the day, he emerged victorious. The fact is that, we don’t have an element of doubt in our minds that one day, we would surely emerge victorious from this onerous encounter.
We are calling on all Muslims in this part of the world to accept the clarion call and fight for the restoration of the Caliphate of Usman Danfodio which white the white man fought and fragmented. The white man killed prominent Islamic clerics and emirs and also replaced the white Islamic flag with the Union Jack.
We want all our people to come together and restore our loss glory.
Questions and answers
Are you aware of the moves made by Dr Datti Ahmed?
Qaqa:Yes, Datti Ahmed and his people have intimated us that they would make attempt and find a platform on which we would meet with government agents and find solution to the crisis. Datti also assured that he will get back to us on what transpired between his group and the government. We gave him our conditions.
A journalist was threatened, what is your position?
Qaqa: We are following unfolding events. Some people threatened a journalist and he was frightened. The truth is that, the same journalist was the very person that created a link between us and the Datti Ahmed group.
We want to advice him and all journalists not to be deterred by the threat. Journalists must also adhere to the ethics of their professional calling because, all over the world, everybody knows the
role of the journalist. Journalists must remain courageous and upright.The issue of Boko Haram is now a global phenomenon. Some people said government was hesitant by the move by Datti Ahmed because there was no assurance that the move was true?
Qaqa: We are really involved in the moves made by Dr Datti Ahmed because they gave us adequate assurance that they have the capacity to deliver. However, they (Datti and Co) have seen how deceitful the federal government is. As far as we are concerned, we know that the
federal government will not live up to its responsibility. A true believer will not allow himself to be cheated twice.What do you think the FG did that prompted you to back out?
Qaqa: The truth is that we have been doubtful on the seriousness and purposeful commitment of the government. It was the Datti group that thought the federal government could be trusted and they have been disappointed.