It declared that even though the sect appears to have different factions, there is an ongoing dialogue between the two on how to bring the Boko Haram insurgency under control.
Reuben Abati, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, who stated this, said the Federal Government’s focus in tackling terrorism is through multi-level, constructive interventions aimed at addressing “a difficult issue that is multifarious.”
He said that what President Goodluck Jonathan had asked from Nigerians as he tackles the issue through the multi-faceted is support.
Abati said in an interview in Abuja that “when government says it is already talking to Boko Haram, the form of that dialogue must be properly understood. I think a lot of people are under the impression that the dialogue involves a situation whereby government officials are sitting on one side, Boko Haram persons are sitting on the other side in an air-conditioned room and there are negotiations across the table. That is not the form of the dialogue.
The form of the dialogue is that back room channels are being used to reach across with the sole objective of understanding what exactly the grievances of these persons are, what exactly can be done to resolve the crises in the overall best interest of ensuring peace and stability in Nigeria and the security of lives and property. And all of this is consistent with the position of Mr. President. So what is called dialogue is at many levels: through back room channels and through multi-level, constructive interventions to address a difficult issue that is multifarious.”
The group known also as Jamaatu ahlis sunnah lil daawati wal jiha had last week denied engaging in any talks with representatives of the Federal Government, stating that the earlier statement confirming an ongoing dialogue by one Abu Muhammad, who claimed to be the second in command to the sect’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, is false.
Abati stated that “one thing that is noteworthy is that the Boko Haram spokesperson made it clear that they were prepared to go a step further to ensure that persons who are using the name of Boko Haram for political and criminal purposes are identified and checked. What that original statement indicated was that indeed Boko Haram has many faces. It confirms that this thing called Boko Haram is such a multifaceted phenomenon.”