The pan-northern socio-political group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), on Tuesday said it would throw its weight behind any initiative that would bring an end to the hostilities caused by Boko Haram.
The Forum’s position comes on the heels of the revelation by Minister of Special Duties and Chairman, Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki that the Federal Government had “reached an understanding” with the Islamist sect.
Turaki, who spoke on Monday in the Hausa Service of the Radio France International, said, “We have reached an understanding with the leadership of Boko Haram arising from weeks of discussion and interface that we have been having with them.
“A declaration has been made… and a formal agreement will be signed soon.”
Speaking on the importance of the ceasefire pact, National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Mr. Anthony Sani said the body believed that the use of force would not solve the problems of the sect.
The ACF, he stressed, would always prefer dialogue to engaging in force to return normalcy to the region.
In his words, “You would recall the Federal Government had informed the nation that it needed the state of emergency in order to enable it to reclaim the seized Nigerian territories held by the sect; and that military actions would not preclude the dialogue option.
“ACF supports this approach of stick and carrot with proviso that excessive use of force will not be allowed and that the rules of engagement will be observed strictly.
“That is why any agreement with the sect to cease hostilities in order to make for constructive dialogue would not be out of place.”