'Military To Remain In Borno' - President Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday met behind closed doors with a forum of elders from Borno State,North East Elders and Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, over the growing concern of insecurity in the North following activities of the radical Islamic sect, Boko Haram; and resolved that the military will remain in Borno State until enduring peace is restored.
Those who attended the peace talks included Vice President Namadi Sambo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator Pius Anyim, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, Chief of Defence Staff, National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Azaazi ACF Board Chairman, Gen Jerry Useni, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed and the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe.
Information Ministers, Mr Labaran Maku who briefed reporters after the meeting, said, both parties agreed that the army should stay-put in the state till further notice. "There were broad based consultation about the outcry for the withdrawal of military. But in the light of this discussion, the meeting generally agreed that it is premature to withdraw the military. What was needed was that if there are cases of individual misbehaviour by members of the Joint Task Force, the authorities will look into those cases", he said.
He added that "right now we know one or two soldiers who were found to have done things in excess are been questioned by the relevant authorities. What is important is that the army are playing a great role and the situation we are now if you withdraw the army, what happen"? According to him, "what is most important is to manage the military until such a time that it is clear that some of the potent threat are lowered".
He said "the President this afternoon held a broad based consultation with leaders from Borno state, the North East and Arewa Consultative Forum on the security situation in Borno state and other part of the north.
"This meeting was broadly attended by political leaders. The meeting explored different options consulted widely on what we can do together to bring about peace and security in Borno state and other affected areas. The meeting was very fruitful and indeed, this is the beginning of further dialogue to find solution to this problem.
"All hands have to be on deck, political leaders, community leaders, traditional leaders, religious leaders so that together, we can look at ways to bring about solution. The meeting rose with the understanding that further consultation will be taking place. All the leaders are concerned about the need to bring about peace.