For the first time in about 10 months, the leader of Jama'atu Ahlil Sunnah Lid da'awati Wal Jihad, better known as Boko Haram, has appeared in a new video, asserting that his sect has not suspended its violent attacks and rejecting dialogue with the Nigerian government.
In the nine-minute video that is being circulated in Nigeria, Imam Abubakar Shekau describes as fraud and lies, the dialogue purportedly being undertaken by one Imam Abdulazeez on behalf of Boko Haram. He says there none of his officials is known as Abdulazeez and he doesn’t know the said Abdulazeez.
"It is a lie, there is nothing like ceasefire or dialogue going on with government,” he says. “We have never sat in any meeting for dialogue, we have not and it is not true that we are talking with Nigerian government. We don't know the Imam Abdulazeez, he is not speaking on our behalf like he claimed. He is not one of us, I don't know him.
"There are procedures of dialogue as it is spelled out in Islam, they are busy arresting our people, small boys and women and so they are not serious with any dialogue and we are also not interested in any talk with them. We are only doing God's work and serving Him and not men."
He further maintains that the time for any dialogue effort with the Nigerian government has passed, and that no further talk about dialogue will be entertained by the sect.
He accused the government of continuing to arrest members of Boko Haram, as well as their wives and children, sometimes on the pretext that they are armed robbers.