1 February 2013

Nigeria: Don't Dialogue With Boko Haram, Ukiwe Warns FG

Photo: Vanguard
boko haram

Former Chief of General Staff (CGS), Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (rtd) has warned the Federal Government against going into any dialogue with the Boko Haram sect.

Ukiwe also stated that there were no constitutional provisions backing the setting up of the Nigerian Governors' Forum (NGF), which was fashioned after the governors' forum in the United States of America.

The former CGS spoke to journalists in Port Harcourt, yesterday, shortly after chairing the opening ceremony of the 4th triennial delegates' conference of the Rivers State Council of the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The conference was attended by Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who was represented by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Seminatari, President of TUC, Comrade Peter Esele while former Director of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Africa (IPCR), Dr. Udenta O. Udenta presented a paper titled; 'Building the Nigeria of Our Dream:The role of trade unions , civil society and citizens'.

Ukiwe stated that considering the type of crimes committed by members of Boko Haram, the sect members were not fit to go into any type of dialogue with the Federal Government.

He said; "It is the government they are seeking to dialogue with. I don't know what they mean by dialogue actually because the type of crimes they are committing does not give room for dialogue. Unless the dialogue they are offering contains something that I am not thinking of, then I wouldn't be able to advise government on what to do.

"If they can drop bombs in worship places, assassinate people, commit suicide bombing, and now they want to talk to somebody. How am I sure that they are not coming with a bomb-laden tommy to talk to you. My attitude doesn't go to dialoguing with the man who is bombing."

Ukiwe further lambasted the governors for forming the NGF, and said that they have turned it into a social club to defend themselves while claiming to be patriots.

He said; "I don't believe the governors should form a forum and start defending themselves as if they are members of a club. We know how many of them got into office; they didn't change to become such patriots when they got there. I don't believe governors should even form a forum of their own. Therefore, what they come out with in these their forum meeting is something we have to look into. The constitution does not give them that right.

"Although there is freedom of association in the Nigeria Constitution, but it does not give them the power to form a closed group. They are not admitting you and me into the association unless they had invited you. "Therefore, the association of governors is not what the nation wants, or they should have put it in the constitution."

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