The Boko Haram sect has denied entering into any ceasefire agreement with the Federal Government. The group stated this in a new video by its leader, Abubakar Shekau.
The video is available to AP and quoted by Huffington Post.
“We will not enter into any agreement with non-believers or the Nigerian government,” Mr. Shekau was quoted as saying in Hausa language. Mr. Shekau’s statement contradicts that of the federal government.
The Minister of Special Duties and chairman of the presidential task force negotiating with the group, Kabiru Turaki, had said the group had agreed to a ceasefire with his committee. He said the ceasefire would soon be signed publicly with the group. Mr. Turaki had, however, said his committee did not meet nor negotiate with Mr. Shekau directly, but negotiated with his deputy.
To burn more schools
Mr. Shekau also said in the video that his group was not responsible for killing of school children in Borno and Yobe States. “We don’t touch small children, we only burn the schools,” he said. “Our religion does not permit us to touch small children and women, we don’t kill children.”
The sect leader’s claim tallies with that announced by Mr. Turaki, who said the sect told his committee that they were not responsible for the attack on a government secondary school in Mamudo. About 28 students and a teacher were killed when gunmen attacked the school, weeks after similar attacks in other parts of Yobe and Borno. Most of the Mamudo students were burnt alive, witnesses had said.
Mr. Shekau, however, said he supported the attacks on the schools and his sect would “burn down the schools, if they are not Islamic religious schools for Allah.” The Boko Haram leader also said his sect would attack and kill teachers teaching western education.
Attacks by Boko Haram and gunmen have continued- although to a lesser degree, according to residents- in Borno and Yobe despite the declaration of a State of Emergency in the states by President Goodluck Jonathan almost two months ago.
In a separate development suspected Boko Haram sect members last night attacked a police facility in Darazo, Bauchi State, killing one policeman and two civilians, including a little girl. Another girl received serious bullet wounds.
A military source said the gun duel with security operatives lasted over one hour when the suspected sect members stormed the Darazo police station. The gunmen also tried to enter some commercial banks in the town, but were repelled by the operatives.
Another source in Darazo told SaharaReporters that the gun fight created panic in the area. “It was bad experience when Boko Haram men started exchanging fire, two of our girls were shot but one survived while one of our friends was gunned down in the cross fire,” he recounted. “As for now, normalcy has returned but security operatives are still combing forests and other possible hideouts of Boko Haram.”