Sunday, 4 November 2012

Boko Haram: Buhari Under Pressure Within and Outside




A former Head of State, Gen.Muhammadu Buhari, has come under intense pressure to accept to play a mediatory role in Boko Haram’s peace overture to the Federal Government.

Apart from the negotiations, it also demanded for the arrest of ex-Borno State Governor Modu Sheriff, compensation for families of its members killed in the course of its terrorist activities and the rebuilding of its mosques by the Federal Government as its conditions for a ceasefire.

The sect had on Thursday named Buhari, Dr. Shettima Monguno; a former Yobe State Governor, Senator Bukar Ibrahim; Ambassador Gaji Galtimari; and Aisha Alkali Wakil, and her husband, Alkali as “trusted Nigerians” it was willing to negotiate on its behalf in Saudi Arabia.

Shortly after the sect’s pronouncement second-in-command, Abu Mohammed in Maiduguri, eminent Nigerians and groups have called on Buhari not to spurn the offer if it was all that was needed to “restore peace to Nigeria.”

Most prominent among them was a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, who implored Nigerians not to misconstrue the intention of Boko Haram’s request for Buhari on the negotiation table.

Gowon said if it would bring lasting peace to the country, Buhari should be given a chance. He said Buhari was not going to be their spokesman, but that he would only help to ensure that peace reigned again in the country.

The Northern States Governors Forum on Saturday also applauded Federal Government’s acceptance of the offer of negotiation by Boko Haram.

A statement by the forum stated that “dialogue rather than use of force, would help find a lasting solution to the worsening insecurity of lives and property in the country.”

The House of Representatives also said the sect call for a dialogue was a welcome development. The Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, told newsmen on Saturday at Ila-Orangun, Osun State, that the House would support any step that could bring peace to the country.

“If the sect is now accepting that there should be a kind of peace pact with the Federal Government, I am sure the House will encourage that.

“There will be a dialogue and it may not necessarily have to be all the conditions given will be met. I think government should be engaged, and see how best the issues can be resolved.’’

Similarly, the President of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, Ralph Uwechue, urged Buhari and others nominated for the mediatory roles to accept it for the restoration of peace to the country.

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