Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists distributed leaflets in the northeastern city of Maiduguri denying they were observing a cease-fire and in talks with the government.
Those “who speculate we’re in dialogue with the government are not representing us, they’re not with our superior leader, Sheikh Abubakar Shekau,” the group said in leaflets pinned on walls and lying on the streets of Maiduguri, its birthplace and stronghold. “We are also ready to deal with whoever tries to expose any of our members.”
A faction of the movement fighting to create an Islamic state in Africa’s biggest oil producer decided to observe a cease-fire from Jan. 28 and asked for the release of its detained members, according to a self-proclaimed spokesman Abu Mohammed Ibn Abdulaziz. The decision was made after meetings with the Borno state government, Abdulaziz said.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer and most populous nation, has been battling an insurgency by Boko Haram that’s killed hundreds of people since 2009. The group has carried out bomb and gun attacks in the mainly Muslim north and Abuja, the capital. Nigeria’s population of more than 160 million has a predominantly Christian south.
Boko Haram’s leaflets were meant to instill “perpetual fear” in the populace and should be disregarded, Sagir Musa, the spokesman for the military task force fighting the militants, said today in an e-mailed statement.
To contact the reporter on this story: Gbenga Akingbule in Maiduguri at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at email@example.com