A purported spokesman for Boko Haram said the people shown on the Nigeria Television Authority yesterday claiming to be sect members were impostors and their statements on dialogue were hollow.
NTA yesterday repeatedly showed two silhouetted men who claim to be from Boko Haram and listed certain people through whom they claimed the sect could be reached out to by government.
The men spoke in the English language, contrary to the common use of the Hausa language by people speaking for the sect all along.
A source in the NTA told Daily Trust in Abuja that the recording was dropped at the NTA office in Maiduguri, and that it was then sent to the headquarters in Abuja where the authorities decided to air it.
This way of sending out messages is also not in line with the usual Boko Haram style of holding teleconferences or posting videos of its leader Abubakar Shekau on video-sharing website YouTube.
A man claiming to be Boko Haram spokesman Abul Qaqa told newsmen in Maiduguri through a teleconference yesterday that the NTA clip was an attempt by security operatives to deceive the world.
“The men shown on the NTA are not representing the position of our group. The Federal Government and the security operatives must stop deceiving the world because we have never had members like the two young men,” he said in Hausa.
The two men in the NTA clip said the sect could be contacted for dialogue through Shettima Ali Monguno, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Aishatu Alkali Wakil and Alhaji Junaidu. There were no immediate comments from the people mentioned yesterday.
But Abul Qaqa said, “The claim that we have nominated some people to negotiate dialogue on our behalf is also an outright lie. We have not yet nominated anybody.
“Government has shown us that it can never be trusted… we would also never trust them again. We gave government a chance to prove itself on the issue of dialogue by allowing Abu Dardaa, our head of enlightenment department to come out for negotiations but he was trailed and arrested.
“Abu Dardaa had only used the name Abul-Qaqa in ‘representative capacity’ and we strongly believe that he will not give any vital information to the security agencies that will frustrate our insurgency.
“We have no doubt that Abu Dardaa will escape from the net where he is being held in custody by the State Security Service, just as one of our own, Kabiru Sokoto, was aided by God to escape from the hands of the police recently,” he said.
He also said they did not set ablaze the Gamboru Market in Maiduguri on Monday after multiple blasts that rocked the area. “The Joint Task Force (JTF) whom we targeted turned against the ordinary citizens,” he said.