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We are not ghosts


The Sheikh Mohammed Abdul’aziz group, a faction of the Boko Haram sect which has claimed to be working towards ensuring dialogue with government, on Wednesday, said its members are no ghosts as alleged by President Goodluck Jonathan when he visited Borno and Yobe states last week.

This is just as the leader said the peace process was still on course, adding that the group would continue to talk with government to ameliorate the suffering of its people.

Sheikh Abdul’aziz, in a statement in Maiduguri, Borno State, on Wednesday, said the group was willing to sit with government at anytime to bring peace to the state and the country at large.

“I call on Governor Kashim Shettima to disregard all those propaganda aimed at disrupting the peace process, as we are ready and willing to continue to dialogue with government.

“We have met with officials of Borno State government and a delegation of Northern Governors Forum on peace and reconciliation, headed by Air Vice Marshal Mukhtar Muhammed (retd),” he said.

According to him, “Allah has also sanctioned dialogue in all human undertakings, so we will pursue it to its logical conclusion. As such, if there are those who feel left out in the process, the doors are open. Let everybody come, as the Borno State government has shown seriousness and commitment to the peace process.”

Speaking on the statement made by the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, that they were not ready for dialogue; Sheihk Abdul’aziz said the person who appeared in YouTube as leader of the sect was an impostor.

According to him, the purported Sheihk Abubakar Shekau, who went further to disclaim him (Sheihk Abdul’aziz) is not the real Sheihk Shekau.

“The voice is not that of Sheihk Shekau and Sheihk has never hidden his face, Sheikh’s voice is heavily Kanuri accented. The man is an impostor deliberately brought to the frontline by those opposed to the peace process. We know them and we will disclose their identities at the appropriate time,” he said.

He stated further that “let me state categorically that Sheikh knows me and has confidence in my ability and is aware and he blessed the peace process. When I was being sworn in by the late leader of the group, Sheikh Muhammed Yusuf, he did so in the presence of Sheikh Mallam Ibrahim Mubi, Mallam Ibrahim Agaji, Mallam Sani Kontogora and Babagana Mulima. So, it is impossible for Sheikh to say he does not know me, while it was he who promoted me to my present position.”

Meanwhile, a traditional ruler from Zamfara State, the Emir of Anka, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmad, on Wednesday, disagreed with those calling on President Jonathan to grant amnesty to members of the Boko Haram.

At the opening of a three-day workshop on peace building and conflict management for sustainable development, organised by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in Kaduna, the emir insisted that “amnesty is for people you know and not those you don’t know.”

He said he was against the call for amnesty for the sect members, adding that “you can’t give amnesty to people you don’t know.”

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