Negotiate with Boko Haram, Ndoma-Egba tells northern leaders
Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, has charged northern leaders to negotiate with Boko Haram just as their compatriots from the Niger Delta region did to militants some few years ago.
He noted that the belated condemnation by the northern leaders of attacks by the Boko Haram Islamic group was not enough.
“Once political, religious leaders and the elites in the north go into negotiation with the terrorist group, the end to insurgency will come,” Ndoma-Egba stated in an interview in Calabar on Monday.
He also appealed to the insurgents to lay down their arms and go into dialogue with the authorities.
The Senate Leader noted that those who have taken up arms against the state were not ghosts hence their kinsmen should call them to a dialogue to ascertain their grievances and what should be done.
He said the onslaught in the North East was getting out of hand and capable of escalating- a development he noted would cause more problems for the country.
“One of my colleagues, Senator Brigidi gave up his re-election bid to negotiate with the Niger Delta militants. He was the go-between government and the militants. It is to his credit that the militants embraced the amnesty announced by the Federal Government. And today there is peace in that region.
“I expect leaders in the north to do the same. They should go beyond condemnation. Let them look for leaders of this notorious sect by negotiating with them. The killings they carry out have become unbearable.
“We watched a video footage by personnel of the State Security Service and saw how Boko Haram members were slitting the throats of policemen. One policeman fainted before it got to his turn,” he said.
Ndoma-Egba said it was wrong to put the blame for the escalating insurgency on President Goodluck Jonathan, adding that security was everybody's business.
The Senate Leader challenged emirs, district heads, political office holders, youth leaders, women leaders to rise to the occasion by fishing out Boko Haram members and talking to them with a sense of patriotism.
He called on Nigerian neighbours to join in the war against terrorism as the menace knows no borders, adding that it will soon get to a point when Nigeria will resort to the doctrine of hot pursuit to track down those who kill or maim and run to other countries to hide as a means of checking the menace.