– Discrepancies –
Ahmadu gave an interview broadcast on Friday on the Hausa language service of Voice of America radio in which he claimed to be the group’s “chief security officer” and in charge of publicity.
He made no mention of an end to hostilities and was vague on details of the apparent talks, even claiming not to have met Shekau.
He also referred to the jihadi group as Boko Haram, a name that means ‘Western education is forbidden’ which was imposed on the Islamist radicals by outsiders. The insurgents themselves never use the term.
The group’s known leaders have exclusively used the name Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, which means “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”.
He made no reference to the Chibok girls and did not list the creation of an Islamic state in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north – the core, unwavering Boko Haram demand since the uprising began.
Shekau has in a series of video messages since 2012 ruled out talks with the government and said northern Nigeria will never know peace until sharia (Islamic law) is strictly enforced.
Envoys from Nigeria’s presidency have made similar ceasefire claims in the past, notably Jonathan’s Minister for Special Duties Taminu Turaki, who led a so-called amnesty commission in 2013 that was tasked with brokering peace.
But nothing materialised from Turaki’s protracted negotiations. Shekau said that he never sent delegates to any talks and attacks continued at a relentless pace.