Boko Haram Arrest: Do Police Have the Right Man?

A new development could hinder the trial of Boko Haram spokesman Abul Qaqa.

According to, police arrested a man they believed to be Qaqa on Tuesday, which brought hope that Nigerian officials were gaining ground in the battle against Boko Haram. That hope may be lost, though, if a statement given to the media is true. An unidentified person has claimed: "The person that was arrested was Abul Dardaa and not Abul Qaqa. I am Abul Qaqa…"

"The arrest of Abul Dardaa is an outright deception and betrayal by the Nigerian government and security agents. They proclaimed dialogue and are doing the opposite. His arrest has proven to us that they were waiting for us to avail ourselves so that they can arrest us," he added.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan offered to provide a means for dialogue between government officials and those terrorizing the nation. While no date was officially set between the groups, Tuesday's arrest may set back the prospect of dialogue.

"We initially thought that the much talked-about dialogue was true, and we actually resolved that after the initial meeting with Dardaa, we would send five representatives to stand for us. Part of what we told him to discuss with the government representatives was the unconditional release of our members as pre-condition for any further discussion," said the unknown person.

Boko Haram has killed over 900 people since it began rebelling in 2009. It has previously stated that it disagrees with the government and will work to impose Shariah law upon the nation. President Jonathan has called for dialogue and stated, "We will dialogue. Let us know your problems and we will solve your problems."

According to one report, "reliable sources [have confirmed] that the voice in the interview with the sect's purported spokesperson was not Abul Qaqa's."

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