Chairman, Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, Tanimu Turaki, on Sunday dashed any hopes of compensation for victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in some parts of the North.
Turaki, who is also the Minister of Special Duties in the Presidency, was addressing Muslim leaders at the National Conference on the Role of Muslim Scholars, organised by the Jama’atul Nasril Islam in Kaduna.
However, he revealed that families of security operatives who lost their lives in the line of duty while battling the insurgents, would be paid compensation.
Turaki said, “Government cannot pay compensation but it will support victims. It will compensate military personnel that were affected by this insurgency.
“Government will not have the capacity to give compensation because of the number of victims involved in the insurgency incidents”.
Turaki, who led other members of the committee to the conference, also tasked Muslim leaders, among them the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the JNI, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, to appeal to the Boko Haram sect to lay down their arms and come to the dialogue table, adding that Islam, as a religion, encourages dialogue.
He said, “How do you compensate somebody who has lost family members? How much will you compensate him with when he is battling with the psychological effect of the incidents?”
The Minister told the gathering that his team was at the conference to impress it upon the leadership of the JNI to talk to the sect on the need for dialogue, saying since Boko Haram believed in Islam, its members should also imbibe the tenets of the religion.
He cited countries like Afghanistan, Syria and in Nigeria during the civil war, where dialogue was used as the last resort to bring an end to conflicts.
Turaki maintained that there was no crisis or difference that could not be resolved via dialogue.
He said, “So, we beg for prayers because there is no evil that prayer cannot solve.
“No matter the ideology of Boko Haram, it is twisted towards Islam. It is very unfortunate. We therefore want this conference to examine the immediate and remote causes of the growing insurgency in the region.”
“So far, we have had robust discussions with Muslim leaders, government officials, traditional rulers and clerics.
“We pray this conference will call on them to come out and embrace dialogue. If you are using the name of the Prophet, then there is room for dialogue. It is respectful to come and dialogue; we are all ready for dialogue.”
He added, “Even wars in other countries of the world, and coming back home, the Biafra/Nigeria civil war, provided an opportunity for dialogue because it is not war that bring peace, but dialogue. So, let them give peace a chance, and let them embrace dialogue.”