President Goodluck Jonathan has challenged Boko Haram sect to identify themselves and state clearly their demands before government could engage them in a dialogue. While acknowledging that military confrontation alone would not end their insurgency, he said there was no doubt that Boko Haram had links with other jihadist groups outside the country.
Jonathan spoke with Reuters news agency Thursday as:
•Police announced in Kano that 200 suspects, including some 160 Chadians, had been arrested in connection with last Friday’s blasts which killed at least 185 people; and
•Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, asked Northern leaders to rein in members of the Boko Haram sect.
Jonathan said in the interview: “If they clearly identify themselves now and say this is the reason why we are resisting, this is the reason why we are confronting government or this is the reason why we destroyed some innocent people and their properties… then there will be a basis for dialogue. “We will dialogue, let us know your problems and we will solve your problems but if they don’t identify themselves, who will you dialogue with?” Military confrontation alone would not eliminate terror attacks, he said, adding that an “enabling environment for young people to find jobs” was also needed.