Abuja: Nigeria's radical Islamist sect Boko Haram, which has been involved in a wave of attacks in the country, on Friday rubbished claims that its spokesman has been arrested by the security forces.
The man captured by the Nigerian secret police – State Security Service (SSS)-- was Abu Dadaa, the head of public enlightenment who was on his way to negotiate with a government official, a person who identified himself as the spokesman, Abu Qaqa, told reporters in northern city of Maiduguri.
"We want to react on what security agents said regarding the arrest of one of our members. The person that was arrested was Abu Dardaa and not Abu Qaqa. I am Abu Qaqa, the spokesman of Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad," he told reporters.
Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad is the real name for the organisation nicknamed Boko Haram because of its belief that Western education was sacrilegious. However, journalists who listened to the conference telephone call said the voice of the speaker was different from the usual one used by the person who goes by the pseudonym, Abu Qaqa.
A member of SSS who wanted to remain anonymous maintained that the man they caught did not say he is Abu Dadaa, querying why he ran under a bed if he was actually heading to negotiate with government.
Without official confirmation, some officials of SSS said on Wednesday they arrested the spokesman for Boko Haram, Abu Qaqa in the northern city of Kaduna.
The arrest came barely two weeks after the group killed more than 185 persons including an Indian in multiple attacks in northern city of Kano.
Officials of the SSS who spoke on condition of anonymity had said the arrest was made possible by GPS tracking.
Boko Haram sect has been waging a bloody conflict to install an Islamic government and Sharia rule in the country. A wave of coordinated bomb and gun attacks in Kano city on January 20 killed at least 185 people, including an Indian, Kevalkumar Kalidas Rajput along with his two Nepalese colleagues, Hari Prasad Bhusal and Raj Singh.
Rajput, 23, from Gujarat worked for Kano-based firm Relchem.
Authorities said militants, some of whom came as suicide bombers, targeted four police stations, the headquarters of state security service (SSS) in Kano state and an immigration office.
A suicide bomb attack by the group at the United Nations headquarters in Abuja in July last killed 26 persons. Nigeria, with 150-million people, has both Muslim and Christian population. Muslims predominant in the north while
Christians mostly live in the Southern part of the country.
First Published: Saturday, February 04, 2012, 10:31