Vanguard (Lagos)

30 January 2013

Nigeria: Dialogue With Boko Haram, Sultan Tells FG

Photo: Vanguard
boko haram

Sokoto — Sultan Sa'ad Abubakar has called on the Federal Government to dialogue with Boko Haram sect in order to ensure the return of peace and security in the nation.

He made the plea on Wednesday when he received the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika at his palace in Sokoto.

The Sultan stressed that it was necessary for Federal Government to engage in talks with the sect, which recently declared ceasefire, observing that "the dialogue would serve as a means of getting across to the other splinter groups within the sect."

He described the cease-fire as a welcome development, an opportunity that the Federal Government should not throw away. "That is why when few days ago we heard a purported ceasefire by a faction within the Boko Haram sect, we welcomed it and I believe it is an issue we have to open up to."

Sultan Sa'ad assured that Nigeria would not break up as being portended by some people.

"Nigeria will remain one entity. Those clamouring for the division of the country are Just making noise in order to seek for relevance. God cannot be wrong by bringing us together. He has a reason why he brought us together as Muslims and Christians. There are many issues that bind us together; there are many reasons why we should remain together as brothers and sisters in this country," he further stressed.

At the Government House, Governor Wamakko commended Nigerian Army for keeping the country one.

"We must commend Nigerian Army for their role in keeping the country one. This onerous act is reeling the nation towards development," he said adding, "I am pleased for the concern and love that you have for the nation."

In his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika averred that it could not be subjected to debate that the unity of Nigeria was non negotiable.

According to him, "The unity of Nigeria is non negotiable. This is what we are all trained to preserve. When some people talk about breaking up the country, I assure you that Nigeria will not break up," he said.

The COAS assured that the Nigerian Army would be transformed, including enhancing the welfare of its troops.

Ihejirika explained that he was in Sokoto to inaugurate some projects rehabilitated at the barracks of 1 Brigade.

He commended the Sultan for his contributions to the peaceful co-existence of the country.

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