Prominent Northern leaders under the aegis of Arewa Elders Forum (AEF) have called on the Federal Government to resume talks with the Boko Haram sect.
Arising from a meeting in Abuja yesterday, the elders maintained that the call has become necessary in view of the escalating security threat that the activities of the sect poses on the corporate existence of Nigeria.
The meeting, which was chaired by elder statesman, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule (Danmasanin Kano) noted that Boko Haram, which started like skirmishes in Borno State has now assumed an alarming dimension, escalating to other parts of the country.
Presenting a harmonised report of its two committees which were set-up shortly after the inauguration of the AEF in March this year, Mr Paul Unongo said that the resumption of talks between government and Boko Haram will go a long way in addressing the current security challenge facing the country where all manner of crimes being committed are blamed on the sect.
The Northern Elders expressed concerns that emerging indications and circumstantial evidence showed that there may be more than just the original Boko Haram operating at the moment.
While condemning violence in all ramifications, the Northern Elders expressed concerns over the deteriorating situation in the country noting that the current spate of violence in the land has different dimensions which bear direct links with ethnicity, religion, politics and economy.
The Elders Forum resolved that the North shall not shy away from dialogue or conferences, including Sovereign National Conference (SNC) to negotiate the future of a united Nigeria.
The meeting which was held at the Yar’adua Centre, Abuja had in attendance prominent northern leaders, including Justice Mamman Nasir who chaired the occasion, Alhaji Maitama Sule, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, Senator John Wash Pam, Mrs Pauline Tallen, Rev. Emmanuel Dgiggan, Ghali Umar Na’abba, Sheikh Ahmed Lemu, Major General Aliyu Gusau (rtd) and Amb.Yahya Kwande.
Also at the meeting were, Sen John Shagaya, Rev. Yakubu Pam, Maj.Gen B.S Magashi, Sheikh Sunusi Gumbi, Alhaji Lawal Kaita, Air Commodore Ibrahim Alkali, Dr Ibrahim Datti Ahmad, Pascal Bafyau, General Paul Tarfa, Air Vice Marshal Al-Amin Daggash, Amb. Babagana Kingibe and Malam Ibrahim Shekarau (Sardaunan Kano) among several others.