Boko Haram has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to embrace Islam or resign from office. However, the president, on Sunday, dismissed the demand as laughable and blackmail. The call was contained in a video released on Saturday, showing the leader of the sect, Mallam Abubakar Shekau (pictured), also criticising President Barack Obama of the United States of America (USA) over the classification of the sect leaders as terrorists, which could lead to the seizure of his assets in the US.
“I call on you President Goodluck Jonathan, you should abandon this ungodly power, you should repent and forsake Christianity, including Obama, who said I have business interests in the United States,” Shekau said in the Hausa language video.
In a reaction to the position, the president, speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, in Abuja, on Sunday, said the demand amounted to blackmail which he would never succumb to.
President Jonathan, according to his media aide, would not resign, based on the mandate given to him by Nigerians in the 2011 presidential poll.
He observed that it was, therefore, laughable for any group in the country to make such demand, more so as the president, a Christian, was elected by both Muslims and Christians.
Abati added that “as president, Dr Jonathan is the leader of both Muslims and Christians, in fact, he is the leader of persons of all faiths.
“So, it amounts to sheer blackmail for any individual or group to ask the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to convert to Islam. The president cannot be intimidated by any group or individual. The president will never resign. He has the mandate of Nigerians to serve his fatherland and nobody should imagine that he will succumb to blackmail.”