LAGOS, Nigeria: The leader of the Islamic extremist network Boko Haram apparently has refused to take part in any possible amnesty deal offered by Nigeria's government to stop the guerrilla campaign of bombings and shootings now plaguing the country.
An audio recording obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday features a man who sounds like Abubakar Shekau strongly objecting to any possible deal with Nigerian officials. The comments come after Nigeria's government has floated the idea of possibly setting up a government committee to examine offering some sort of deal to stop the violence that's killed hundreds over the last year.
The recording, first passed by intermediaries of Boko Haram to journalists in northern Nigeria, features the man talking about the
possibility of an amnesty deal, first discussed last week. The man in the recording, speaking in the Hausa language of Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north, calls the amnesty deal "surprising."
"We are the one to grant them pardon. Have you forgotten their atrocities against us?" he says.
Boko Haram, which sends messages through spokesmen and communiques at times of its choosing, could not be reached for comment Thursday.continued