Mohammed spoke with reporters during the presentation of relief materials to the Oyo State government by Afro Media PLC over the August 26, last year floods. He was a member of the company’s team. He identified dialogue with the sect as a major panacea, stressing that those opposed to negotiations do not want peace. He said the proposed dialogue should involve stakeholders, such as traditional rulers, representatives of security agencies, aggrieved militia groups and politicians.
His words: “We have been telling the president long time ago that there is no alternative to education. We don’t share the views of those around the President that tend to look at the Boko Haram either from the viewpoint of ethnicity or from the viewpoint of religion. On the contrary, it started as a local dispute. It was a way of people who felt marginalized and reacting against the local situation. But because it was badly managed , it has now completely gone out of hands while the people close to the President keep telling him that there is no point for meeting with terrorists.
I think this is wrong. “Even in the UK, after several decades of war with the IRA, until the Good Friday peace negotiation, there was absolutely no solution to the IRA problem. I think it has come to the stage that the government needs to ensure that it calls a roundtable conference of all major stakeholders – traditional rulers, militia groups, security agencies, politicians – all of us must sit together and find an enduring solution to the problems in the country.” The Ijaw Youth Development Association (IYDA) yesterday flayed the bombing of media houses and tertiary institutions by the dreaded Boko Haram insurgency group.
The IYDA, in a statement by its President, Daniel Amassoma and Publicity Secretary Mr. Fiyebo Eperetei, said the Boko Haram attacked innocent citizens who were not responsible for the crisis in the area. It described the recent threat to media houses as uncalled for. The group said: “It is not good to make the country seem to be void of leadership ideas for reasons yet to be known. “We hereby urge the President and Security Agencies to intensify their effort to restructure and empower security services in the country to enhance the protection of lives and properties of its citizenry.
“We are using this medium to say that those calling for the sack of the NSA are people that are in one way or the other linked with the Boko Haram. “They wanted to manipulate their likes into the office of the NSA to complicate the security situation and get rid of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan at the long run.” The Primate of Anglican Communion, Rev. Nicholas Okoh, yesterday blamed the unrighteousness of many Christians for the constant attacks on the church by Boko Haram. The cleric said there was need for Christians to repent and seek divine assistance.
The Primate spoke at the Anglican Communion Cathedral Church of the Advent when delegates of the Nigerian Red Cross visited the church. Rev. Okoh said: “Our unrighteousness is why God is allowing the church to be so attacked and lives of Christians are being lost. While we were examining the national aspect of it, we need to look inward to see whether our hands are dirty. If our hands are dirty, then we should repent so that God can have mercy on us and take away the reproach upon us.” He urged the government to be committed to protecting the lives and properties of the people.
Rev. Okoh said: “We should continue to pray and look forward to God and let government do its own part of the contract. It is a social contract. We have surrendered our power through the election to the government. “It is wrong for individuals to carry arms. Therefore, the government that has the authority to carry arms should protect the people so that the righteous does not stretch his hand to do evil.” In his message entitled: “Back to Life”, the clergy said Christians have compromised their faith in so many ways in the pursuit of fame, material things and power.