Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Oritsejafor Gives Condition for Dialogue With Boko Haram

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Mutala Mohamed Airport in Nigeria

President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, has reacted to call by former governor of Yobe State now Senator Abba Bukar Ibrahim for dialogue with Boko Haram sect, saying any dialogue with the group without compensation to Christians is null.

Oritsejafor in statement emailed to this reporter by CAN spokesman, Kenny Ashaka, quoted the CAN president as saying, "Let me state that any dialogue that ignores the issue of compensation for the families of Christians killed and churches bombed or burnt, businesses destroyed, would be unacceptable to the Christian Association of Nigeria.

"I believe that elders in the north, especially those in the north-east zone hold the key to the cessation of violence in the region and should begin to discuss how to end the unprovoked attacks on Christians and their churches."

Oritsejafor faulted Ibrahim's position that Boko Haram's insurgency was sparked by inequality, neglect and injustice.

"The statement by the senator that 'we can find a way really to help dialogue with this group; after all, they are all Nigerians at least as far as we know...' is overly reckless, irresponsible and insensitive, just as it is a panacea for encouraging the increasingly violent and daring sect," he said.

He advised that "The federal government should, therefore, not succumb to blackmail from any quarters on account of the Boko Haram issue but should remain focused in dealing with the sect members in accordance with the laws of the land."

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