By SaharaReporters, New York
SaharaReporters has obtained an audio interview of a man, identified as Mujhahedeen Muhammad Marwana, who claims to be the second-in-command to Boko Haram leader Imam Abubakar Shekau, conducted in Hausa by phone in Bauchi State, by a foreign journalist.
In it, Marwana speaks authoritatively about meetings between members of his group and some top Northerners, including Governor Sule Lamido, former Minister of Defence Bello Halliru, and Sheik Dahiru Bauchi. The translation, into English, did not provide any context to those meetings.
According to the source which made the tape available, the interview was broadcast yesterday, January 28, but it is unclear when it was conducted and where it was broadcast. Translated into English, the interview shows Marwana dispelling any possible dialogue with the militants because the government has allegedly killed 47 Boko Haram emissaries in dialogue efforts that have never seen the light of day.
In the interview, Marwanna also explained Boko Haram’s predicament in Kano, stating that four principal members of their group are being “unjustly” held there and must first be released as a pre-condition for any future developments. He indicated that there are others also being held in Abuja, Maiduguri and other locations in the North.
He told his interviewer: “Many people have called us for dialogue many times but the government is fooling itself, thinking they are clever but [are] deceiving themselves. They are insisting they don’t know us, it is false, we have met their representatives many times but because of their evil plan they kept denying [us] because of their greed and wickedness.”
Marwana also reiterated that Boko Haram is following Allah’s instruction to serve him and that his group is not attacking anyone unjustly.
He asked: “Before they attack us, have you ever see us attacking them and their cronies from the beginning? Even pressmen we have no problem with them except where there were some plots,” he said.
Apparently on the subject of treachery on the part of the government, he recalled “the first meeting” following the execution of former Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf in Maiduguri.
“We were six in Shehu’s Palace,” he recalled. “From there we were 40 that met in Damaturu and only three of us survived. We went to Kaduna and met in Arewa House; of 11 of us, 10 were killed by special squad of security agencies around Tafa on Abuja way, with all these, who is a cheat and want trouble? We sat with Governor Sule Lamido, former minister of defence, Bello Halliru and Sheik Dahiru Bauchi, this is what we want our Muslim Ummah to know.”