Don`t Negotiate With Terrorists, COAS Tells FG &Northern Governors
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After an exclusive expose by huhuonline.com on how Northern governors hold secret meetings with leaders of the Boko Haram sect in Cameroun and following the standard set by the international community, the Federal Government has been cautioned against
entering into any negotiation with the dreaded Boko Haram sect with a view to ending the menace and human toll of its bombings.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubike Ihejirika who warned against attempts to dialogue with Boko Haram sect leaders said that negotiation or dialogue with the terrorist group is never an antidote to terrorism.
'No matter and whatever the measure you put in place we would not get the best result and fast enough unless the society as a whole reject terrorism without any justification. Those who try to justify act of terrorism, marketed it, (and) fuel the terrorists and some do so only to discover later that terrorism is not a matter to be negotiated and win".
Ihejirika reacted in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 2012 second seminar on National Security organized by the Alumni Association of the National Defence College (AANDEC) in collaboration with the National Defence College (NDC).
Also, President of AANDEC, Rear Admiral Amos Adedeji (rtd.) while tracing the problem in the polity to the neglect of the socio - economic matters in favour of political class which has now become a threat to national security, attributed this to the emergence of ethnic/religious uprising in the polity and the attendant problems and tasked members of Course 20 of the college to fashion out a solution to the menace.
While cautioning the ruling class against depriving the people of their social expectation, Adedeji said 'If we continue to accept this divide and rule tactics, and allow the conduct of the affairs of our country in a way that promotes lop-sidedness in the polity the country will not progress.'
For Gen. Chris Garuba, a former Commandant of the College, a sovereign national conference were all the stakeholders would put their views on table is the only way forward to the problems confronting the country and decried those who claim that such a conference could lead to the balkanization of the country because, according to him 'a country with multi- religious and ethnic groups cannot do without periodical national conference.'
He however called for the revision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with a view to expunging or amending sections that promote disunity and other problems in the country as well as stop the idea of leaving security issues for the military alone to handle.
Meanwhile, it has been revealed that the Boko Haram terrorist group and their leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau, who is currently hiding away in Qoundere, Cameroun, are on the payroll of Northern governors.
A Boko Haram source revealed that "The reason for Kano and Bauchi states attacks a few days ago were hinged on failed promises by the State governors of the two states", adding that 'the entire Northern governors have on-going relationships with the group ast of them pay us monthly to leave their states alone.'
It was disclosed to Huhuonline.com that in Kano, former All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) governor agreed "in late 2004 for an initial monthly disbursement of N5million, which was later bumped up to N10million in 2009 which includes provision of institutional infrastructural support through the Hisbah (Islam police) project which received yearly budgetary allocation of N1.01billion.
Trouble however started when the new Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso stopped the money and the funding of the 'Islam Police'. "We concluded on Kano in December 2011. The abrupt end to the oil subsidy strike and protests served an opportunity for the group to strike. The preparatory work for the attack and the selection of targets had already been completed".
Following the development, Boko Haram leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau therefore gave a go-ahead-order to the attack before leaving for Cameroun last Wednesday and estimated number of casualties was calculated to net 300 minimum.
In Bauchi, the agreement was made in 2008, "A monthly disbursement of N10million, provision of training grounds on the many mountains scattered in Bauchi State. There was also promise of security against arrests by the Federal Government. Bauchi governor stopped the monthly fund in mid-2011, Boko Haram source claimed that "they were not happy but remained loyal to the agreement because of the unfettered access to the mountains of Bauchi as training camps".
"They are aware of capabilities of the Boko Haram operatives in their respective states". Some of the State government officials visit their training camps to watch the training exercises. "We train harder than the Nigerian military and they see it".