(THEWILL) – President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Government must commit itself openly and unambiguously by guaranteeing the security of leaders of Boko Haram when eventually they come out for dialogue, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has said Tuesday.
The Northern elders under their consultative forum urged government to continue to persevere, uncover the true identity of members of the terrorists group, in order to determine their demands or grievances and address those that may be genuine and in accordance with Nigerian laws.
The ACF also enjoined leaders and members of the Boko Haram to realize that no religious doctrine permits the killing of innocent lives saying, it is important to point out to them that they are inflicting terror; death and destruction upon people not in any way responsible for whatever injustice they believe have been done to them.
“We call upon all people of good conscience who may have access to members of Boko Haram to urge them to take advantage of secure channels of communication to be provided by the Federal Government towards achieving a resolution of the current bloody impasse,” they said.
The ACF emergency meeting attended by 19 northern states delegates chaired by Trustee Chairman General Jeremiah Useni which held at Kaduna stated that “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 should be seen to demonstrate fairness and justice in dealing with all issues of insecurity and infringement of the laws.
“ACF notes with grave concerns some serious allegations peddled by certain people to the effect that some people from other sections of the country were conspiring to cause high level of 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 allege 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 publicized in the media. Considering the gravity of the allegations bordering on treason, the Forum calls on the government to as a matter of urgency investigate them for the purposes of prosecution,” the ACF stated.
The forum also noted 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 called 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 lamentation.”
The ACF further 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, the ACH said “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.”