We don’t trust you! Mediators in Boko Haram talks end discussion

by Lekan Olanrewaju

A muslim cleric mediating in peace talks between the Nigerian government and the Boko Haram Islamist sect has announced he will be quitting the talks. Ibrahim Datti Ahmed on Sunday announced he would no longer be taking part in the discussions, accusing the government of insincerity.

Ahmed, who was once a former close friend of the founder of Boko Haram, and heads the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria {SCSN] has been acting as a mediator in the indirect talks between Boko Haram and the government aimed at ending a two-year insurgency that has left over 1,000 people dead.

Ahmad said in a statement that he made the decision based on the alleged leaking of details of the talks to the media.

“This development has embarrassed us very much and has created strong doubt in our mind about the sincerity of the government as the discussion is supposed to be very confidential,” he said.“In view of this unfortunate and unhelpful development we have no option but to withdraw from these early discussions. We sincerely regret that an opportunity to negotiate and terminate this cycle of violence is being missed.”

The Boko Haram sect had reportedly proposed a three-month truce on the condition that the government released all its detained members and halted further arrests. He said the government was looking at the proposal.

Ahmad formed the SCSN as a muslim pressure group that agitated for the reintroduction of Sharia law in 12 predominantly Muslim states in the north when the country returned to democratic rule in 1999.

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