Govt Must Dialogue With Boko Haram - Senator

Govt Must Dialogue With Boko Haram - Senator

A senator has told the Federal Government that there is no solution to the Boko Haram insurgency except dialogue with the sect.

According to Senator Abba Bukar Ibrahim, who was twice governor of Yobe State – which, along with Borno, is the epicentre of the activities of the sect – it will be difficult to fight and defeat the sect.

Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for bombings in which about 3,000 people have died.

The sect’s men have bombed churches, public institutions and telecommunication masts.

The government’s plan to go into dialogue with the sect was aborted because “the group is faceless”. The sect set conditions for the dialogue.

It named prominent Nigerians, including Senator Ibrahim and former Head of State Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, as mediators. It also proposed Saudi Arabia as venue of the talks.

Boko Haram (western education is a sin) said it wanted to islamise Nigeria.

Ibrahim told reporters in Abuja yesterday that the government should be committed to dialogue with the sect.

The member of the Board of Trustees of the All Nigeria People Party (ANPP) insisted that fighting the sect cannot stop the insurgency.

He insisted that the reason for the actions of the sect is inequality, neglect and injustice. “These are fundamental issues, which every country should really embrace in order to have a permanent peace,” he said.

The senator vowed to do everything possible to ensure that peace returns to the country especially to the North, if the government is serious about dialogue.

“My advice to the Federal Government is, when a situation like this arises anywhere in the world, you cannot fight and defeat this kind of thing by force, so, dialogue, I believe, is the best solution. Yes, they (Boko Haram) are faceless but I believe there must be a way, if government is totally committed to finding a away out.

“We can find a way really, to help dialogue with this group; after all, they are all Nigerians at least, as far as we know; even if there are foreigners, but obviously, the vast majority of them (sect members) must be Nigerians. The fundamental thing is anywhere you see this kind of thing rearing its ugly head, it is a product of inequality and injustice. These are fundamental issues, which every country should really embrace in order to have a permanent peace.

“When you go to the Northeast geopolitical zone, you’ll know, nobody need to tell you that this is the most neglected, the most marginalised part of this country as of today. Of course, all zones have at one time or another complained about marginalisation, but for the current situation we’re in now, the Northeast is terribly neglected, marginalise and nearly completely abandoned.

Senator Ibrahim again denied having any contact with the group. He said: “I don’t know them. I don’t know anybody who knows the Boko Haram physically, and as you’ve rightly said, they are not even in one group; they seem to be divided. So, whichever group or faction that has decided that there should be dialogue in Saudi Arabia, what I’m saying is that through the Saudi Arabian government, the Federal Government can get to these people; it may not be direct as they’ve refused to come out for Nigerians and Nigeria’s government to know them.”

Source: Naij.com

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