Following the Islamist sect group, Boko Haram’s announcement of readiness to dialogue with the Federal Government, Nigerians have been bearing their minds on the matter with most reactions against a negotiation.
A member of the House of Representatives, representing Jos East/Jos South Federal Constituency, Bitrus Kaze, in his reaction said Nigeria must not in any way negotiate with terrorists.
In a press statement in Jos on Friday, Kaze reacted to the sect’s choice of former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari as intermediary between them and government saying: “Anyone who has been following the internecine violence perpetrated, especially North of the Niger, by these merchants of death should understand their choice of Buhari. Eventually, the men behind the masks are beginning to unveil.
“In my view, Buhari, like the Boko Haram, cannot be trusted to negotiate for sustainable peace in Nigeria.
“In the build-up to the 2003 presidential elections, Buhari was reported to have asked Muslims across the country to vote only for the presidential candidate that would defend and uphold Islam. Even before the emergence of Boko Haram, Buhari had vowed not to “stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country.”
“If it is too much to say Buhari has a soft spot for Boko Haram, the incontrovertible facts show that he has consistently instigated violence in Nigeria,” Kaze added.
“In his bid to rule Nigeria again, Buhari ordered his supporters in 2011 to ‘finish’ anyone who tampers with the votes, whatever that means.
“Sheik Lemu may have attempted, although unsuccessfully, to vindicate him, at least his Presidential Panel on Post Elections Violence acknowledged Buhari’s ‘provocative utterances,’ which, according to them, appeared to have been ‘misconstrued by many voters to include recourse to violence.
“Nigerians won’t forget in a hurry that after his woeful loss to President Goodluck Jonathan, many voters resorted to violence, leading to unquantifiable loss of innocent lives and property.”
He said against this backdrop, therefore, “it is unthinkable that anyone will expect peace from an engagement with an advocate of violence, like Buhari.
“By nature, thorn bushes do not yield bananas! The terms under which Boko Haram terrorists are seeking negotiations in the first place invariably offend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which government has sworn to uphold, protect and defend.”
“Any government that considers as cardinal, the protection of lives and property of its citizens cannot contemplate any negotiation with those demanding for the release of captured terrorists, who are in the custody of security agencies awaiting trial,” Kaze said.
“A government that has not compensated victims or reconstructed any place of worship destroyed by these suicide bombers has no business sitting at the same table with terrorists under any guise.
“On the verge of the 100th anniversary of Nigeria’s amalgamation, the President cannot afford to be deceived into mortgaging Nigeria’s national sovereignty in the name of dialoguing with terrorists in Saudi Arabia or anywhere.”
Kaze said “there is no country in the whole wide world that has ever succeeded in checkmating terrorists by negotiating on their terms,” adding: “Peace and terror, like light and darkness, do not and will never mix.”