Sunday, January 22, 2012

‘FG playing politics with Boko Haram’

Weekly Trust
21 January 2012

Mr. Inuwa Bwala is the Borno State Commissioner for Information. He has just explained how the state’s government, on its own, is tackling the challenge of resolving Boko Haram crisis in the state, among others. Excerpts:

WT: What are the criteria the Borno State government is using to compensate victims of Bako Haram crisis?

Inuwa Bwala: We are not compensating per say, we are giving them assistance so that they can pick up their lives and start afresh, so we call it assistance to victims. We have paid 100,000,000 naira to the family of the in-law to Sheik Muhammad Yusuf, but this was because of the court order where the family sued the government claiming money for the murder of their breadwinner...


So in which way do you think the Federal Government can come in to mediate this problem finally?

They may be reluctant to open dialogue with members of the sect, as far as we are concerned, whichever way it goes, they are our citizens, the victims, the people involved are all our citizens and that is why our doors are always open to dialogue with them. Weather the Federal Government accepts this option or not, that is the option we are going to pursue. As a state government, we are suppose to collaborate, but in the use of force, where can we come in, because we do not have a force, we do not have police force, we do not have an army, we do not have any instrument which we can use any other option than dialogue.

Sir you just mentioned two groups as capitalizing on the Boko Haram to cause mayhem, in the case of robbers, it is understandable, but for the politicians what is the government doing to arrest such politicians and deal with them?

Already, a highly placed member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is facing prosecution for his alleged involvement with this group. Others would be exposed with time. If there is anything we know about this people, we are ready to volunteer such information to government, but the government must also be sincere in prosecuting the matter to the end. We don’t want a situation whereby they play to the gallery about the matter, only for the matter to escalate, because if you arrest somebody for allegations or being involved in causing this mischief at the end of the day, you set him off the ground and that man becomes an angry man and goes after everybody. In the ANPP, we have already suffered in their hands, because so many of our people had been eliminated and most of the eliminations were political assassinations.

Your doors are open but this people have said they won’t come up, are you going to meet them?

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