11 July 2011
The issue of Boko Haram Sect which has held the nation captive particularly in the Northern part of the country has posed a serious concern to Nigerians and even the international community, with so many proffering solutions to end menace. One of them, is a security expert and the Chairman CEO Pahek Security Service, Otunba Patrick Keku. In this interview with Correspondent Andrew Utulu, he speaks extensively on the issue.
Are you saying the government should use force to fish out the sect and deal with them decisively?
Before they use force they should satisfy this other areas I’ve mentioned. The local government people, whether they are ready to cooperate with the government or not, that is very important. If you find out that they are not ready to cooperate with the government, it becomes very difficult. Now for the Niger Delta, I agree that they are fighting for resource control, but when it was becoming too much then it was force for force and because the government fire power was more than theirs, they were able to subdue them. You can remember the recent Odi case, the recent Ayakorumo case. Because they are looking for only one singular person, they burnt a whole village down. So, we can take precedence from the things that happened in the past. And if you look carefully, they can be politically motivated in the sense that in those areas, the North they’ve been used to indirect rule right from the colonial time and this in directed rule was between the Emirs and those elite and then the peasants. Only the Emir children goes to school abroad, but you see the almagaris, they come around early in the morning to the Emir’s palace, they give them food and nothing more. But what people say that they don’t want Western civilisation might be wrong. But if they are well oriented and the benefit of Western education and all these things made known to them, they will change. You do not tell me that some people from those areas do not have Western education.
Some people are talking about dialoguing with Boko Haram of offering them amnesty just like how they did to
Delta. Do you think that will be the best option? Niger
I don’t look at it as the best option. If you look at the scenarios, Niger Delta is the resource base of the country and they were fighting for underdevelopment and all the rest of all. That could be understood but are Boko Haram fighting for development, it is religious in nature. So they are not the same thing. If you say lets dialogue with them, let us have amnesty and when you have amnesty, my brothers in the East will come, MASSB will come, actualisation of Biafran state will come, then we dialogue with them that they should go, they should secede? Then the Ogoni people will come, we dialogue with them and they will have their own, then you are splitting the country. If you have one
at heart, I don’t think that dialogue with them or amnesty should be the case. But I still emphasise that we initially do our internal work, from local government, councillors and chairmen, you will be able to access their mind, access where they are going to and from there you can take a decision. Nigeria
Now sir, this sect we are talking about is quite different area from the case of Niger Delta because the Niger Delta issue, we knew where they were operating from, we knew their leaders, we knew what they were agitating for, but for the sect members, we don’t know them, where they are getting their training; and then what they are asking for is that Western education is a sin, they don’t want to associate with anything Western education, apart from the bomb they are using. How do we now dialogue with somebody who is quite indifferent, who does not want to have anything with Western education?