The Jamaatu Ahlis Sunnah Lil Daawati wal Jihad, popularly called Boko Haram, has said that it would not negotiate with any government representative and had no plans to do so.
In a half-hour video made in Hausa and posted on YouTube, the sect called on President Goodluck Jonathan to resign and also accept Islam.
The video appeared more of a tirade of abuse with the group offering no logical explanation or reason for its demands and positions.
In the video, which was made by the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, in the form of an Islamic lecture, the sect claimed that “it doesn’t kill “women and children, but those who have offended us, arrested our people and killed them.”
It also claimed that some people were committing evil acts in its name and that it would go after such people.
The sect also rejected any plans by the federal government to legislate on the number of children Nigerians could have, describing such proposal as ‘blasphemy.’
But President Goodluck Jonathan has faulted the condition given by the Boko Haram that he should embrace the Islamic faith and become its ardent member or resign from office, saying that the sect’s demands were blackmail and rude intimidation.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the president said he would not resign as president as far as he was in power based on the mandate given to him by Nigerians in the 2011 presidential poll.
Abati said it was laughable for any group in the country to hand down such a condition to a president who was elected by both Muslims and Christians in last year’s presidential poll even when it was not in contest that he was a Christian.
The presidential spokesman said, “When Nigerians voted overwhelmingly for President Jonathan in the 2011 general election, they knew they were voting for a Christian. He continues to enjoy the goodwill and support of the good people of Nigeria. As president, Dr. Jonathan is the leader of both Muslims and Christians; in fact he is the leader of persons of all faiths.
“So, it amounts to sheer blackmail for any individual or group to ask the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to convert to Islam. The president cannot be intimidated by any group or individual. The President will never resign. He has the mandate of Nigerians to serve his motherland and nobody should imagine that he will succumb to blackmail.”