President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor has dismissed the ceasefire deal earlier announced to have been agreed between the federal government and Islamist sect Boko Haram, saying the sect will not negotiate with anybody.
“What I know from what some very devout Muslims have told me is that when a Jihad starts, they don’t stop. The Jihad has to be completed. They either die or they achieve their goal. And the goal is to Islamize Nigeria,” said Oritsejafor in an interview with Vanguard.
“We have to face reality. The problem is real. Boko Haram will not negotiate with anybody. It’s a waste of time, energy and effort. They may end up talking with some people. But the problem is there are people who are still killing people and raising up their flags every day in different places. This is the reality on ground. Let’s stop the deception. Let’s stop the games. What is happening is real. People are being killed on a daily basis. So what ceasefire?” he asked.
He reminded Nigerians that leader of the sect Abubakar Shekau had at several times dismissed reports of a ceasefire. He however advised on four things that needs to be done to solve the problem of insurgency in Nigeria.
“Number one, Christians must not relent in their prayers. There has to be a divine input into what is happening. I have a feeling that God has helped us as a country; if not, the situation would be worse. So I want to plead with every well-meaning Nigerian to pray and pray harder,”the CAN president said.
He also called on the military to buckle up and stamp out sabotage, which had at several occasions put troops at disadvantage in the fight against insurgency in the country, as terrorists working on leaked information often lay ambush and kill soldiers.
“From the information I have sometimes, there are some commanders, not all, who will refuse to give the command. By military operations, soldiers cannot attack or respond without a command. Now, if the man who is to command them is not giving them command, and it’s obvious they are going to kill them, what do you expect them to do? So some of them drop their weapons and run,” Oritsejafor said.
“The picture has to be painted correctly. So that’s why some of them run away like that. Then there are some who the thing has been arranged, the people want to leave these weapons for the other people, so they are instructed to run. So they just run away and leave the weapons. It’s not really that they are afraid or can’t fight, but it’s still this sabotage issue.”
He added that the problem is not necessarily equipment as widely suggested, but the problem is that these saboteurs are using these equipment against government in the sense that they are handing them over to the insurgents.
Giving the third solution, the CAN president said Nigerians also have to accept the fact that the insurgency by Boko Haram in the country is a religious issue. He noted that once Nigerians accept this, especially Muslim clerics, and come together to defeat the ideology of Boko Haram.
“Boko Haram will not listen to me. Boko Haram is an ideology,” he said, adding, “To defeat an ideology, you need a superior ideology.”
Number four will be for these same religious clerics to help us go to the grassroots and start convincing the average person on the streets probably in the mosques, that they are Nigerians and Nigeria is a good place to belong to… and that Boko Haram is not fighting for them or for their good.”
Asked whether attacks over his outspokenness will deter him Pastor Oritsejafor said it will never. “God forbid! It cannot! The day I keep quiet, in my own opinion, I ought to resign being the leader of Christians,” he said.