A spokesman of the Boko Haram sect, told reporters on Tuesday, that the group has "closed all doors of negotiation with a government of unbelievers" it cannot trust. He called on Muslims to join the "fight for restoration of the caliphate."
AFP reports that Abul Qaqa, speaking after preliminary indirect contacts between the Nigerian government and the sect, told journalists in a telephone conference on Tuesday, that the group did not trust the government. Reuters reports Abul Qaqa, who purports to speak for Boko Haram, said: "Almighty Allah has told us repeatedly that the unbelievers will never respect the promises they made. As such, henceforth, we will never respect any proposal for dialogue." He added: "In fact, we have closed all possible doors of negotiation. We would never listen to any call for negotiations. Let the government forces do whatever they feel they can do, and we too would use all the wherewithal at our disposal and do what we can."
According to AFP, Qaqa said Boko Haram had given conditions to the Islamic cleric Datti Ahmed, who acted as intermediary in the early rounds of indirect talks. According to Qaqa: "The first condition we gave was the need for unconditional release of all our members."
A Nigerian security official confirmed that Boko Haram had proposed a three-month truce on the condition that its detained members were released and government halt further arrests of its members.
Qaqa said that at a previous initiative earlier in the year, "There was an initial meeting between us and the government and in the process, one of our members, Abu Dardaa, was arrested in Kaduna. Since then, we never trusted the government. However, following endless pleas by some notable Nigerians, whom we have enormous respect for, we resolved to give another chance."
The Nigerian goverment recently made moves to initiate talks with the group that has waged a bloody insurgency against the state in the northern part of the country. Acording to Boko Haram, its goal is to impose Sharia law. AFP notes, however, that in recent times the aims and structure of the group have become unclear, even while its attacks have grown deadlier. It has resorted to attacking Christian churches in the northern part of the country to provoke a conflict between Christians and Muslims.
Qaqa, according to Reuters, said: "We are certain we will dismantle this government and establish Islamic government in Nigeria. There is no doubt in our minds we will emerge victorious. We are calling on all Muslims in this part of the world to accept the clarion call and fight for the restoration of the Caliphate."
Al Jazeera notes that recent arrests and deaths of leaders of the group may have weakened it. Analysts point to the fact that the group has not been able to to launch a targeted and co-ordinated attack since the Kano attack in January in which 186 people were killed.