Boko Haram Not Capable Of Dialogue – Soyinka

Boko Haram Not Capable Of Dialogue – Soyinka

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said the reported willingness of Islamic sect, Boko Haram, to discuss with the Federal Government should not be taken seriously, as the sect is incapable of dialogue.

Soyinka said this in Lagos on Thursday in his keynote address at the 2012 Annual Conference of a non-profit organisation, Women in Management, Business and Public Service.

The conference had the theme, ‘Well-being, Workplace and ‘Wealth’, with the sub-theme, ‘Women Working, and Winning’.

According to him, with an ideology of violence and with many different factions, the sect is not in a position to call for dialogue.

Describing the sect as part of an international terrorism campaign, he explained that right from the outset, there were fears that it had links with al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda and was sending people to Mauritania and Somalia for training.

“The only thing they believe is to lay waste as much of this nation as they can,” he said, when asked why he had insisted in previous interviews that the government must fight the sect. “You can’t dialogue with people like that.”

He said, “These people declared war, not on the state. They have declared war against humanity. And it is in the interest of humanity for people to defend themselves.

“When somebody brings war into your house, your first responsibility is to expel the person who brought that war into your house unprovoked. Right now, I don’t see this thing, this monstrosity as a creation capable of dialogue. Unless (we want) to say, ‘Please, stop bombing us’, ‘Please, stop killing us’.”

Soyinka praised Iranian lawyer and human rights activist, Shirin Ebadi, for her efforts in promoting democracy and human rights despite the odds.

He said for Nigerian women to overcome discrimination, they have to strengthen the structures that exist – to lobby and use the law where necessary to fight for equal rights and opportunities.

In her welcome address, the Chairperson, WIMBIZ, Mrs. Adeola Azeez, explained that the theme was meant to provide an avenue to explore the question, “What is the meaning of success, without well-being? Of work without fulfilment? Of professional success without financial success?”

She said, “What we hope to achieve this year is to show that is is possible to have it all, even as women.”

The Chairman of the Board of Emerging Markets Telecommunication Limited, Mr. Hakeem Bello-Osagie, who spoke on the theme, ‘Winning in Challenging Times’, advised participants not to be deterred by the failures they encountered.

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