The Federal government has urged members of the Boko Haram to respect the sanctity of human lives while expressing their grievances and reconsider the opportunity offered for dialogue with the Federal Government in the interest of unity, stability and economic development of the country.
Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro who made the appeal yesterday, when he played host to members of the Borno State House of Assembly, led by Hon Abdulkarim Lawan, said it was high time the group stepped out to articulate its grievances and thereby open a window for dialogue.
‘The Boko Haram members should go back to the table of dialogue in the interest of the innocent human beings that are losing their lives . Even against the backdrop of some disagreement on the basis of certain issues that are not acceptable by them, I still believe that those unacceptable areas can be ironed out by talking.
Comrade Moro, who harped that the surest way to resolve differences was through dialogue, therefore charged the Islamist sect to in spite of their grievances, follow the path of dialogue instead of violence.
He said, “If Boko Haram and its leadership have something to say; if they have any grouse against the Nigerian state, the proper thing for them is to come out in flesh and state it, so that a process of dialogue that will eventually lead to the resolution of the crisis and the siege on Nigerians can commence in earnest.”
Earlier in his address, the Speaker, Borno State House of Assembly, Hon Abdulkarim Lawan called for the review of the dawn to dusk curfew imposed on the state to 7am -10pm, to enable the predominant Muslim faithful attend their evening prayer, which usually falls within 8pm, following an improvement in the security situation.
The speaker expressed appreciation at the ability of the paramilitary to contain security challenges at the border since the declaration of the curfew following the emergence of the sectarian conflicts.
Responding to the appeal, the minister emphasized that the presence of the men of the paramilitary, the closure of borders at certain entry points and the declaration of the state of emergency in some local government councils in Borno State are not intended by the federal government to punish them, but was intended to protect lives and properties of the state and its environs.
‘ I feel happy, that Borno people appreciate the positive contributions of the men and officers of the Immigration Service, as well as that of the Civil Defence Corps.
I assure you that the paramilitary will redouble its efforts in the discharge of its duties both at the borders and as members of the joint patrol taskforce.’