The umbrella body for Christiansin Nigeria, Christain Association of Nigeria (CAN), has pooh-poohed the conditions given by the Boko Haram sect for a ceasefire, particularly the one that seeks to hold the dialogue in Saudi Arabia with the Federal Government. This was made known by CAN’s Financial Secretary in the 19 northern states, Reverend Joshua Maina in Bauchi.
He said: “Boko Haram should not be so dreaded to the extent of giving in to their demands. President Goodluck Jonathan has actually been frightened by Boko Haram. Whether we like it or not, he has to face the reality. Saudi Arabia gives them cover as to who will be the figure for the dialogue. I don’t want to believe the same man who spoke on phone to media men yesterday would be the one to speak for Boko Haram. It is more or less going to be a meeting, what do we table to the Federal Government as our own demand? The same credible people who are going to speak for the Federal Government will be the same people speaking for Boko Haram.
“Who created Boko Haram? Accepted it was Mohammed Yusuf, but who sent Jerry Gana to bail Mohammed Yusuf? Is it not respectable Nigerians that have left this country? It is going to be like a form in Saudi Arabia on how to approach Jonathan with Boko Haram issue, what should be our demands for the North. So, I want to believe it is still the North and South affair and not Boko Haram, and unfortunately, the Church in the North suffer because they are like traitors to the northerners. Let the dialogue be within Nigeria, if the Boko Haram is not willing to dialogue in Nigeria, why should we go to Saudi Arabia? Why not Israel?
“Rome? USA is there, England is there; let them choose the whole of International Court of Justice? It is not safe for the Federal Government to give in to this demand,” he said.
Maina, a two-time governorship candidate and current CAN scribe in Bauchi, said further: “It is rather unfortunate that we have a country like Nigeria where you have crime and you look the other way. We have been insisting that Boko Haram is a formation of northern clique.
“Senators, governors in Borno are sponsors. We must accept the reality that Boko Haram is a creation and a sponsored organisation by the northern clique. Sometimes the security people back and give them cover.”
According to Maina, Boko Haram is not in a position to demand the arrest of Ali Modu Sherif. “If anybody has anything against him, that person should forward it to the police. If investigation shows that he has a hand in the operations of Boko Haram, on that basis, he will be arrested and prosecuted, but not because Boko Haram demands his arrest.”
On the call by Boko Haram for compensation for its members, Maina said: “They killed so many people, why haven’t they demanded for the compensation of the families of those they killed? Their leaders were killed because they were killing innocent people. How can we end up compensating criminals? Boko Haram is a lawless organisation. We all know this.
“Why must we compensate families of people, who under the law, are considered lawless people? If we go by that, then tomorrow others will form their gangs and begin to kill people. So, the Federal Government has to be very careful because we lost many precious people. But whether Boko Haram is ready for ceasefire or not, one thing I know is that their days are numbered.
“If Osama Bin Laden is no longer here, if Hitler is no longer here, Idi Amin is no longer in Uganda, if these people are no longer here, I don’t want to believe Boko Haram should be dreaded as to give in to their demands” he concluded.