Breaking News: Boko Haram tables fresh request for dialogue

Posted by NewsExpress | 4 August 2015 | 3,910 times

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Some Boko Haram elements have tabled a fresh request for dialogue, routing it through the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC), an independent Non-Governmental Organisation based in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

Executive Secretary of the Centre, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (retired), disclosed this while addressing the press this morning in Abuja.

While expressing support for the declaration by President Muhammadu Buhari that the Federal Government was willing to dialogue with genuine leaders of the terrorist group, Anas said the new position has become imperative in view of the fact that military option alone has failed to resolve the issue.

He said: “The Centre however suggests that such dialogue should be done with every sense of caution and responsibility bearing in mind the previous disappointments that attended attempts at negotiations.

“Considering the unspeakable atrocities which the group has visited on Nigeria and Nigerians, this option is no doubt a hard sell. However, the recent statement by President Muhammadu Buhari on government’s readiness to negotiate with credible members of the sect has rekindled the hope for dialogue.

“The Centre views this gesture as good. It has opened a window of opportunity for dialogue for those insurgents that are willing and ready to lay down their arms. This position is predicated on calls made to this Centre by some members of the Boko Haram requesting for genuine and comprehensive dialogue that could lead to hundreds of them coming out to renounce their membership.

“Nevertheless, the Centre will continue to support and encourage all efforts towards bringing insurgency to an end in our country.”

On the lingering National Assembly crisis, the CCC appealed to all the contending individuals, groups or parties to ‘shield their swords’ in the national interest “knowing how far-reaching and negative effect political crisis of this dimension could continue to be in inflaming passions, creating divisive tendencies, and ultimately translating in crisis.”

He then urged the legislators to take the lead of President Buhari and slash their remunerations to demonstrate to Nigerians that they are also sympathetic to the current financial challenges of the nation and ready to make sacrifices to make Nigeria better.

On non-payment of salaries by some state governments, the Centre declared “nothing breeds crisis more than the injustice of workers being denied wages and entitlements. Public servants who toil for governments and the nation deserve salaries at the end of the month. Failure to guarantee this basic obligation on the part of any state government is a sure recipe for crisis, i.e. crisis at home, schools, at the workplace and generally in the society.”

He then implored the affected states and indeed other states to be more ingenious and judicious in handling their finances to avoid potential source of crisis in the future.

Speaking on the issue of cattle the CCC boss said it has reached an alarming proportion as it always precipitates bloody clashes leaving scores of people dead in different parts of the country especially in Taraba, Plateau, Benue, Kaduna, Nassarawa, Niger and other states over grazing rights.

“This recurring but often violent crisis perpetrated by unknown hoodlums has continued to traumatise innocent and enterprising Nigerians engaged in cattle rearing and farming.

“The crisis is perhaps accentuated by the economic hardship and joblessness. The Centre has received hundreds of calls from several parts of the north over this issue. Instances abound where hoodlums send letters to cattle breeders especially Fulanis and farmers to pay hundreds of thousands of naira or even millions as ransom to avert attacks.”

He commended Governor Nasir El-Rufai for his efforts in this regard and in setting up the ‘Cattle Initiative’ to fight against cattle rustlers in Kaduna, which has already recorded huge successes with the recent recovery of over 2000 cows in different locations in Kaduna state.

“The Centre is calling on governments at all levels to ensure every action aimed at finding lasting solution are put in place to enable the return of normalcy in the nooks and corners of our communities.

“The Centre believes that more discussions and legislative actions at the states and National Assembly levels are needed now on the propriety or otherwise of creating or delineating grazing areas in the country.”

The CCC said it was agitated by recent attempts to resurrect the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) with the arrow head being Mr. Government Tompolo along with some Ijaw youth.

“Since the inception of the Amnesty Programme billions of Naira has been and is still being spent to address the Youth challenges of the region”, it noted and commended the appointment of Brigadier General Peter Boroh (rtd.) which it said will  energise the amnesty programme.

“If there are genuine grievances with the Amnesty programme, legitimate avenues and appropriate channels should be exploited. However, the full wrath of the law should be brought to bear on any individual or group that wants to engineer crisis aimed at militating against the socio-economic development of our dear nation.”

•Adapted from a PR Nigeria report. Photo shows retired Air Commodore Yusuf Anas.

Source: NewsExpress

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