Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Northern leaders want FG to dialogue with Boko Haram, ready for National Conference

African Examiner
2 February 2012

Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has distanced Muslims and indeed
northerners from the Boko Haram sect whose activities they lamented are
already threatening the unity of Nigeria.

ACF Chairman, Alhaji Aliko Mohammed at a media briefing on Tuesday
however urged the leadership of the sect to accept government offer to
dialogue with them and end their violent activities.

He equally pleaded with government not to punish the sect’s leaders when
eventually they turn up for peace talks based on the invitation of President
Goodluck Jonathan.

“The Federal Government should commit itself openly and unambiguously in
guaranteeing the security of leaders of Boko Haram when eventually they
come out for dialogue promised by Mr. President. Government should
continue to persevere, uncover the true identity of these people, to be able to
determine their demands or grievances and address those that may be
genuine and in accordance with our laws.
On the clamour for a Sovereign National Conference, Mohammed noted that
although the Constitution of the Nigeria has clearly defined the applicable
rules in the country, the north would participate in any conference that seeks
to discourse relationships in the country.

“The ACF reviewed the recurring calls for a national conference, and even a
Sovereign National Conference, for the purpose, the proponents say, of re-
defining the terms of our union. The Forum concluded that the terms of our
National Union and those by which the Nigerian Federation are run have
been well defined in our Constitution.

“However, for the avoidance of doubt, it should be made clear that the North
remains open to, and will be keen to discuss any ideas that may place
Nigeria in a better position to meet the challenges of nation building and
secure a better future for this and succeeding generations of Nigerians” he

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