29 June 2012

Nigeria: Summit Group Wants Jonathan to Dialogue With Boko Haram

Lagos — The newly inaugurated national dialogue steering committee of eminent Nigerians has called on the Federal Government to end the menace of Boko Haram by engaging members of the sect in dialogue.

Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, who addressed journalists in Lagos yesterday, said it was pertinent for the Federal Government, particularly the security agencies to put an end to the Boko Haram insurgency.

"Government should seek a lasting solution to the current security challenges through wide consultation and engagement of all stakeholders in order to bring about dialogue with Boko Haram adherents," he said.

The group also called on the government to fight corruption with all sincerity and avoid paying lip service to it. This, they maintained can be demonstrated by reviewing remuneration and allowances of political office holders with a view to streamlining what it called, "the scandalous cost of governance in Nigeria."

The committee further reiterated the need for government to support the call for a national conference, saying that is the only way the current democratic dispensation could be sustained.

Speaking on ways of making government key into the process, the committee's executive secretary, Mr Tony Uranta, said the group has a modus operandi which will not be disclosed to the public yet.

He maintained that any responsible government who understands that sovereignty lies with the people will not hesitate to implement some of the recommendations that they will come up with in the long run.

The committee comprises of 14 members, including Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, chairman, Dr Arthur A. Nwankwo, deputy chairman, Mr Tony Uranta, executive secretary, Mrs Charity Shekari, deputy executive secretary, Chief Audu Ogbeh, chairman, finance committee, Mr Olawale Okunniyi, publicity secretary, among others.

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