29 June 2012

Nigeria: NSA Hopeful of Boko Haram Ceasefire

Retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, the newly appointed National Security Adviser (NSA), on Friday expressed optimism of achieving a Boko Haram ceasefire before the Ramadan Fast.

Dasuki said this at the commencement of a security stakeholders meeting in Maiduguri.

He explained that his visit was aimed at getting to the root of the Boko Haram insurgence in the North-East.

"Since efforts to tackle the insecurity situation in the North-East have failed, I thought the best thing is for me to visit and get first class information on the problem," Dasuki said.

He appealed to Borno elders and other stakeholders to help find solutions to the crisis.

"I believe that the best thing is to talk to elders and get their views on the way forward," Dasuki added.

He said that the object of the meeting was to interact with stakeholders on how best to solve the problem.

"I cannot just sit in Abuja and decide on the situation here without getting to the bottom.

"I am, therefore, here to get your views and opinion on how we can tackle the security challenges in the North-East," Dasuki said.

He said that he had the mandate of President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that the crisis ended in a few weeks.

"The president mandated that I should work towards restoration of peace before the Ramadan Fast. I believe that we can reach a sort of a ceasefire which will finally lead to the resolution of the crisis," Dasuki said.

He lamented that the crisis had negatively affected economic activities in the affected areas.

"Nobody can say that he is happy with the situation of things when people cannot open their shops for business or freely conduct their economic activities.

"Until the security situation is tackled, we cannot achieve any development," Dasuki said.

Also speaking, Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno, blamed the Boko Haram crisis on poverty and bad governance.

Shettima warned that the country might witness more crises in the future if leaders failed to be just in handling the affairs of the nation.

 - NAN

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