The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has warned that unless the Jonathan-led administration takes the necessary action towards ending the Boko Haram crisis, its attacks on Nigerian towns and innocent souls have the capability of disintegrating the country and cause the collapse of peace, security and public order.
In a statement issued on Thursday at the end of a meeting chaired by Ret. Lt General J.T Useni, the chairman of its Board of Trustees, ACF advised the federal government to commit itself “openly and unambiguously” to guaranteeing the security of leaders of Boko Haram when they appear for the dialogue promised by President Goodluck Jonathan. ACF said in the statement, which was signed by Alhaji Aliko M. Mohammed, Chairman of its national executive, and Mr. Anthony N.Z Sani, the National Publicity Secretary, that the meeting was convened following Boko Haram’s horrific bomb attacks on Kano on January 20.
“Government should continue to persevere, uncover the true identity of these people, to be able to determine their demands or grievances and address those that may be genuine and in accordance with our laws,” the ACF said.
Similarly, ACF calls upon and enjoins the leaders and members of Boko Haram to realise that no religious doctrine permits the killing of innocent lives. It is important to point out to them that they are inflicting terror, death and destruction upon people not in anyway responsible for whatever injustice they believe have been done to them.
“While it is true that the actions of Boko Haram are condemnable, it is also necessary to call upon the Federal Government and all our political leaders as well as all those in positions of authority, to recall the UN Resolution 1963 of 2010 which urges governments around the world to address underlying causes of civil unrest and social conflicts rather than resort to hard military power which rarely solve them.”
The federal and state governments, they said, should be seen to demonstrate fairness and justice in dealing with all issues of insecurity and infringement of the laws.
“ACF noted with concern some serious allegations by certain people to the effect that some people from other sections of the country were conspiring to cause high-level insecurity across the country with the clear intention of making the country ungovernable. Some of these allegations go as far as saying that there are plots to assassinate the president. They also alleged that southerners were not only being killed but that their attempts to flee the North were being blocked by northerners. These allegations have been written and widely publicised in the media. Considering the gravity of the allegations bordering on treason, the Forum calls on the government, as a matter of urgency, to investigate them for the purposes of prosecution,” the ACF said.
“ACF notes the well advertised changes made in the Nigeria Police for better services. However, in view of the widespread ineffectiveness with which current security challenges are being tackled, the forum calls on the government to extend similar re-organisation to all other security agencies, especially the intelligence community. We call on the government to be more proactive, more decisive and engage in less lamentations.
“The ACF reviewed the recurring calls for a national conference, and even a Sovereign National Conference, for the purpose, the proponents say, of re-defining the terms of our union. The forum concluded that the terms of our national union and those by which the Nigerian federation are run have been well defined in our constitution.
However, for the avoidance of doubt, it should be made clear that the North remains open to, and will be keen to discuss any ideas that may place Nigeria in a better position to meet the challenges of nation building and secure a better future for this and succeeding generations of Nigerians.”