… REP ALSO FAVOURS TALKS
The Federal Government has been urged to adopt the same tactics used in handling the Niger Delta militants in dealing with the insecurity problems created by the religious sect known as Boko Haram.
House of Representatives member, Aliyu Ibrahim Gebi from Bauchi made the suggestion when reacting to steps taken so far on the Boko Haram by government. A panel raised by the Federal Government chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim had stated categorically that the panel had no mandate to negotiate with Boko Haram, but a mere facts finding panel.
Reacting to the mandate of the Anyim panel, Gebi of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the House noted that it was better to open dialogue with the group as it was done with the Niger Delta militants, who made the oil creeks hot for exploration before.
'What is good for the 'goose' is good for the 'gander'. We negotiated with the militants, they are Nigerians. The Boko Haram people are also Nigerians; we should negotiate with them also.
'We should understand what the problem is. The problem is simple, it is about social injustice, may be the way it was tabled was wrong.
'It was the same issue of injustice with the Niger-delta militants. When they started, everybody was against them, but when you begin to understand what their problems were, people were sympathetic to them.'
Although, he decried the unorthodox means of addressing their issues, Gebi insisted that it was better to open talks with Islamic sect as it was done with the militants, adding that if we discuss and then we realise that they were irrational people, then at least we gave it a shot.
He stated that it was wrong to just unilaterally closed the door of negotiation with Boko Haram as it would not solve the problems already created and might likely created.