President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday in Abuja refuted insinuation that the “undemocratic’’ nature of the ruling party, the PDP, led to the emergence of the militant Boko Haram sect. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some national dailies on Saturday quoted the National Security Adviser to the President, retired Gen. Patrick Azazi, as saying that the emergence of undemocratic elements in the PDP led to the creation of militant groups like the Boko Haram sect. Fielding questions from newsmen after visiting the premises of the ThisDay Newspapers building bombed on Thursday, President Jonathan said the Security Adviser might have been misquoted by the media.
“So, until I read it, I don’t believe that the NSA means that the practices in the PDP are anti-democratic. “I cannot comment much about what happened in the First Republic, but the aborted Second Republic that I marginally participated, and this Third Republic that I am a key actor, presently as a member of the first eleven, I still see that the PDP is one of the most democratic parties. “So, I don’t believe that it is undemocratic practice in the PDP that could give rise to Boko Haram or any other group. “So, probably, people need to ask NSA to explain what he really meant, but I read it from the papers. I don’t believe it is undemocratic practices in the PDP could give birth to this or any other militant groups.
’’ On the bombed building of Thisday Newspapers, Jonathan called on all Nigerians to join hands with the government in fighting the menace of terror groups in the country. According to him, any terror attack on any part of the country is a terror attack on all Nigerians and indeed the whole world. “You really see that this is a media house; it’s not a government establishment. Media helps to inform all of us about what is happening and of course the media is now also a victim and that is why we all as Nigerians, no matter what we do, where we come from, we must join hands in fighting this terror.
“And I can assure you that we’lll get over it; other nations have passed through it. Sometimes, when I say that, Nigerians begin to misunderstand that we are just sleeping to wait that it will come and go like wind; No. “We say that countries have faced it; U.S. has faced it and other countries have faced that they were able to conquer it, we are working very hard; our security services are working very hard and we will conquer it.
’’ On the debate on whether government should dialogue with the Boko Haram sect or not, the president said the two options could be possible depending on the circumstances on the ground. He reiterated the determination of government to address the challenges posed by terror groups in the country, saying that dialogue with members of the Boko Haram sect was not totally ruled out. “Yes, they are correct; those who are saying we should dialogue are correct; those who are saying we should not dialogue are also correct.
“When you have a terror situation, you also look at global best practice all over the
world. Just like war situations, you may dialogue; you may not dialogue, depending on the circumstances. “But we’ll exploit every means possible to bring this to an end.’’ (NAN)