Leadership (Abuja)

11 November 2012

Nigeria: Kalu Offers to Dialogue With Boko Haram

Photo: Vanguard
Cartoon on terrorism in Nigeria

Almost a week after former head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari, declined a mediatory role to end the bloody offensive of the Islamic militant group, Boko Haram, former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has bitten the bullet and offered to dialogue with the group on behalf of the federal government.

In another development, Kalu has also sought the support of France in the deepening of democracy in developing countries, especially Nigeria.

In a statement over the weekend by Special Assistant on Media to the ex-governor, Emeka Obasi, Kalu said there was nothing wrong with the refusal of the offer by Buhari, adding that he was in a position to talk with the group for the return of peace to the country.

He said that having lived in the hotbed of Boko Haram activities, Maiduguri in Borno State and being a prominent South Easterner, which has been largely affected by the activities of the group, he was in a position to marry the feeling of the actors in the dialogue process.

Obasi quoted Kalu as saying: "General Buhari took a laudable step by opting out.

"For one who contested the 2011 presidential election, meeting with Boko Haram may be misconstrued because many believe that the group's activities heightened after the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan."

Kalu, who is also the protem leader of the nascent socio-cultural organisation, Njiko Igbo, added that, "Ndigbo have suffered enough. Their businesses have been destroyed, lives lost. Nigeria is their country.

"I do not see why they cannot walk freely from Maiduguri to Mubi, from Borno to Bauchi. I lived in Maiduguri. I still own properties there. I know the terrain.

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